Do they have special powers so they are as sure footed as a Grand Canyon mule and special body rotating sensors to ensure landing on soft fleshy parts?
I walk a lot in our neighborhood and am not afraid to ask a worker to cover up an open floor, or fix a tripping hazard. Usually workers are happy to oblige. My walking friends alway enjoy these interactions with "Safety Sheila" - it is alarming how often this happens.
Roofers... They don't seem to appreciate my feedback.
The other day, I witnessed 5 men working on the roof of a Tudor style home - lots of steep pitches and gables. None were wearing fall protection. As I made my way up the driveway, they stopped to look at me. I told them that they were making me nervous working so high without fall protection. I mentioned that it was such a lovely day, they would hate to ruin it by falling and getting hurt. There was a bit of chatter amongst themselves, I could hear snippets of "what did she say" "wants us to tie off"... They then all turned around and went back to work. I then yelled up, "it's against the law you know!" This did not impress them either.
I took some pictures and then called in to OH&S, knowing that by the time they showed up the job would be over or they would be investigating an accident.
Something is wrong with the system.
In 2014, two of the nine OH&S convictions involved falls of roofers. Since coming into effect in October 2013, there have been a total of 6 Administrative Penalties against workers and contractors. Of these, 4 involved contraventions of the OH&S Code for fall protection.
Surely this is a mistake, there should be more... I received more parking tickets during this interval! Maybe Calgary Parking Authority should expand their job scope to include fall protection?
Why hasn't OH&S issued more administrative fines? Insufficient staff to perform spot checks on residential construction sites, and industrial projects are a priority. As soon as OH&S shows up to a site, workers hasten to comply. Workers, prime contractors and roofing contractors just aren't worried about it. And they should be. Just ask the 14 year old Edmonton boy who fell off a roof and sustained life altering injuries.
I am going out for a walk... And won't stop chatting with workers along the way.