Safety Monitoring by a Competent Person [29 CFR 1926.502(h)]

A safety monitoring system is an alternative fall protection option for low-slope roofing work under 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(10). If employers elect to use a safety monitoring system, they must designate a competent person to monitor the safety of workers and to warn them when their work puts them close to a fall hazard.

The safety monitor must:

  • Be competent in the recognition of fall hazards. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(i);
  • Warn workers when it appears that they are unaware of fall hazards or when the workers are acting in an unsafe manner. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(ii);
  • Be on the same walking or working surfaces as the workers and be able to see them. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(iii);
  • Be close enough to the work operations to speak directly with workers. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(iv);
  • Have no other duties to distract them from their monitoring function. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(v);
  • Must ensure that no worker, other than one engaged in roofing work on low-slope roofs or one covered by a fall protection plan, enters an area where a worker is being protected by a safety monitoring system. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(3); and
  • Must ensure that all workers in a controlled access zone have been instructed to promptly comply with fall hazard warnings issued. 29 CFR 1926.502(h)(4).