By Colin Sheehan, RCS Reporter.
In Season 3, Episode 44 of Roofing Road Trips, Heidi J. Ellsworth visits with Phillip Harris, business development manager and safety expert at Tremco and Weatherproofing Technologies (WTI). Together, they discuss safety plans for rooftop installations and the importance of talking to building owners about incorporating long-term fall protection in every installation.
Phillip Harris Junior is the business development manager for Tremco WTI, but also works on building strategic partnerships and WTI’s rooftop safety solutions product line.
"I've been here with the company now for four years. I started off as a product manager for our rooftop safety products as well as our liquid applied roofing systems, and as you know, Heidi, this product line continues to grow,” said Phillip. “We had another record-breaking year with the product line in regard to sales and overall.”
Tremco is known for its high safety standards and as a roofing manufacturer, they go out of their way to educate building owners on rooftop safety. For low slope roofs, they focus on educating building owners on meeting the OSHA 1910.28B13 safety guidelines.
"We take [the OSHA standard] and simplify it and basically make it a red, yellow, green approach,” said Phillip. “...Anything that's at least six feet but less than 15 feet from the edge would fall into our yellow area, where obviously it's that stipulation within that OSHA regulation that talks about infrequent or temporary. But we explain that a little bit and let them know that you still need 99.9% of the time some form of fall protection there.”
Often when a person hears fall protection, they immediately think of adding a guard railing or a fence-like structure to line the edge of the roof. However, WTI works to address holes or openings that may be prevalent on the roof already.
“Before we even start talking about unprotected edges, [we address] holes and openings,” said Phillip. “We have a lot more large warehouses and manufacturing facilities, knocking down walls, really opening things up and that leads to a lot of people putting in skylights to bring in that natural light and help take down the bills. Well, those skylights are considered holes, so we talk about putting some type of guards over those skylights.”
Another point of emphasis on safety includes rooftop access points. Ensuring that the access points are safe and easy to maneuver can eliminate a lot of safety hazards.
"If you have a hatch, that's considered a hole if that hatch is left open, and it's also an access point. So you could address two for one with a solution like a hatch guard going around the hatch,” said Phillip. “So that's how we try to go out and educate the building owner, [so they can] protect themselves.”
Listen to the entire podcast to hear more from Phillip and Tremco WTI’s fall protection products that are reshaping what safety means in the roofing industry.