New OSHA Residential Fall Protection

This September OSHA implements fall protection rules for residential buildings. Self employed persons are exempt but if you have an inspector employee you need to come up to OSHA speed on fall restraints. They also have fall restraint rules for entering an attic.

How do you write a standard that requires the roof to be walked without considering OSHA rules? I have known many inspectors who have fallen off roofs. I agree its time to protect them.

I agree if one can not walk and chew gum at the same time prolly better to stay on the ground or find a different line of work. Thanks anyway but I have all the Gov in my life that I can stand

A great thing about being self-employed is the ability to take responsibility for my own safety. Another great thing is the fact that I can choose whether or not I have any employees.

Like Charley, I don’t need any additional government intervention in my life. I know “I didn’t build my business on my own](Obama: If You've Got A Business, You Didn't Build That - YouTube),” but it’s mine and it’s my responsibility to keep it alive and growing.

Employed or self employed, you are always responsible for your own safety. The law makes you responsible for your employees safety and by all means you have the choice to have or not have employees.

We agree about reducing big government. California has much less restrictions on home inspection than Texas but I think you have a whopper workmans comp law.

Yes, the WC in our state can be crippling. CA is not a business friendly state, so any additional government intervention is strongly opposed by businesses in CA.

I watched as a crew was up three stories doing sheathing yesterday but because everyone knows who I am I could not report them. Some of the kids on the roof could not even have been 20. I know that there are fines being given out here and the contractors are upset about all the new training needed.
We had one death that hit the papers when someone slipped on a beam. When will contractors learn not to take chances at someones life.
I have had several friends fall and have permanent damage. All it takes is once and your career is over as a laborer.

I have been doing this 25 years and have known 4 very talented and careful inspectors who fell. Its not about coordination and its called an accident.

I also taught a roof seminar. 33% of the attendees have had some sort of ladder fall doing home inspection.

All of the falls except one were getting off the roof and onto the ladder. One was a slip off a surface. One man fell backwards onto a 4 foot picket fence. The other landed on his back before his head hit the concrete. One laid on the patio for an hour before he was found. The other wore a halo for 1 year. All of them could chew gum and walk circles around most inspectors.

Have you seen “Slum Dog Millionaire” where the little boy dives into a cess pool on a dare? That reminds me of some inspectors.

Dude, this is not about big government rules. This is about rules that allow you to take safety precautions or charge accordingly to be safe. Right now home buyers and agents have some inspectors jumping into a cess pool for a quarter.

Well put John and if you go to ISHN Website you will find examples of big fines for Contractors not caring about the workers.
They also have a safety app challenge to reach young workers but I have not checked it yet.

You can’t protect everyone, don’t even try. Plus, we need the gene pool cleaned up a little. Ever shop at Wal-Mart?

I do’t believe it I just drove by the site and still no harnesses.
I was so tempted to take a picture.


I heard that RE’s are pushing listing agents to have home seller’s sign wavers for any “home inspector” or “appraiser” who touches/enters any home for any reason are liable for “any” damages found after the inspection and/or appraisal. These people who enter a home will be required to sign the paper/list/waiver on the kitchen counter before any work/inspection can be performed. This is simular to the list you have to sign when you enter, or inspect, a vacant/foreclosed property. The owner, listing agent, will be listed on the form.

Those of you who walk on roofs, open panels, etc. and sign the wavier, will be liable, whether or not you did damage.

IMO, this is in response to our PIA’s now being required more and more by insurance companies, and state laws.

More regulation. More problems.

Well Dude I am in my 49th year of working in the trades and or inspections and I have seen a boat load of guys that need to find a different line of work. The only time I was ever hurt was when some other
numb scull hurt me. I get paid very nicely for my inspections and stay as busy as any one should expect in the rural area that I live in

BTW John Humans don’t make accidents they make mistakes and try to cover it as an accident.

Gary, what are you talking about?

In the past 10 years I’ve had 5 people get MAJOR duty messed up with falls (4 from roofs and 1 out of an attic).

Four in KC and 1 in Carmel or Indy, Indiana.

One in KC was getting off a 5/12 pitch wood shake roof (ranch house - under 8’ fall). Shake slid loose as he mounted the ladder / tied his leg in ladder rungs / broke it in 5 places. Two years later he was still on a walker / HI business was long gone.

One got there early on morning with dew on roofs. When agent & buyer got there 45 minutes later, ladder was up at roof and he was on ground dead from fall ???

One got off roof and ladder leg buckled / he went down and landed on a brick planter box ledge … Broke back and Pelvis. Almost 1 year in a cast. Bye-Bye home inspection business.

Chris Schneph fell out of attic onto garage floor in Indy / Busted up bad. Attic hatch framing collapsed under him. Casts, walkers, wheel-chairs, etc. Good Bye HI business.

KC inspector climbing ladder - foot slips thru rungs and he falls / Broken leg and BIG cast middle of summer

Sh*t happens QUICKLY, so DON’t take dumb butt chances

I guess that puts an end to this argument. Thanks for sharing those real life experiences.

Sorry Dan you are describing mistakes not accidents

49th year? Excuse me, allow me to put you in my class. Hey you old fa r t, congratulations on your success and safety. If we were all as good or lucky (both in my case leaning to the latter) there would be no need for safety precautions.

“Boat load of guys that need to find a different line of work” applies to every trade and profession. You should see the hair cut I got last week. That was not an accident, it was a mutilation. Unlike an injured spine, the hair around my bald spot will perhaps grow back.

Interesting. Maybe a way to handle it would be a visual only inspection of common areas (no attic, roof, crawlspace) and without operating anything. I would even have a witness (the listing agent) and a video going. Simply explain the limitations imposed by the seller to the buyer and then tell them to refer to the seller’s disclosure. I would take it one step further and suggest the closing not happen until the home is vacant and a second visual walk through can happen.

Lastly, defer all operational inspections to a specialist and advise the buyer to consult with their attorney before buying the home. It is easily argued as a stratagy to prevent due diligence.

The “sign the document” strategy will fail. Buyers will gravitate to home owners who are not as restrictive. Its like telling someone they cannot start the engine or sit on the interior of a used car. Might work on a well documented collectors car but not the everyday product.

For what it is worth I have had a few inspections like that. They did not have me sign anything but I was escorted every step of the way and no photos were allowed. I just did a visual, no operation, inspection. Zillion dollar home and movie star owner. Not much of a problem; I understand the special situation. If something is missed as a result of the rules the seller has MUCH deeper pockets than me. On the other hand a $10,000 repair is petty cash on these type homes. The buyer is going after the person who angered them. Be honest with the client and they almost always go after the deeper pocket.

“always” is a funny word.

The definition of “accident” varies but it is always something unexpected and usually sudden. It can be an act of God (if your not an athiest; insurance jargon) or the result of human negligence, error or ignorance.

In the more accepted definition of the term a “mistake” is a precursor to the accident, especially in personal injury.

Its very debatable. Did the fast food restaurant spill the hot coffee on you? It kind of gets back to “ordinary and customary” practices and reasonable prevention multiplied by the result of the effect.

Falling off a roof has significant effect. 150 years ago children cleaned cess pools; 100 years ago miners worked with improved mine safety (a canary in a cage). The auto of today compared to the auto of 1960 is incomparable. Safety has limits however. If we really wanted to save life we would lower interstate highway speeds to 40.

The end of the argument will come with the eventual “1 payer” system of health care (1 year or 50 years from now). You will be fined an IRS penalty (tax) if you are injured performing unsafe work practices. Stomp and yell all you want, it is coming. I have proof. Try to buy life insurance and check the box that you rock climb or parachute.

I suppose a point to the audience is “Be careful; roof falls happen and they maim or kill”.