Use The Safety Monitor System To Prevent Injuries

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What is a safety monitor?

The safety monitor system is a method used in the roofing industry and enforced by OSHA for preventing workers from falling when working without other types of fall protection on a leading edge or roof perimeter or where there is a fall hazard of more than ten feet.

Being a safety monitor gives the authority & responsibility to correct hazards by verbal command. The role of a safety monitor must be given to an individual who is competent. This person must have knowledge of safety equipment and fall protection practice. A safety monitor is more than just walking around supervising your co-workers. There are specific guidelines to follow for this important role.


1. Complying with 29 CFR 1926.500(g)(1) requires the employer to designate a competent person as a monitor as defined in 29 CFR 1926.502(p)(7), capable of identifying and correcting roofing hazards.

2. The individual designated to be monitor may be a supervisor or a worker engaged in the performance of built-up roofing work. The monitor must be trained and capable of identifying existing and predictable roofing conditions which are hazardous, or dangerous to roofing employees.

3. The monitor must have authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazardous conditions. The monitor must be on the same roof as and be able to visibly observe all other employees for whom he/she is responsible and must also be close enough to verbally communicate with the employees.

The standard for perimeter guarding of low-pitched roofs allows the use of a "safety monitoring system" under certain conditions. A question has arisen as to what extent a safety monitor might be engaged in the performance of other duties. The preamble to the new standard specifically allows monitors to have other duties but provides that these duties may not be so extensive that they encumber the monitor's duties as a monitor.

Additional information:

  • Record Type: OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number: STD 03-11-001
  • Old Directive Number: STD 3-11.1
  • Title: Safety Monitoring Systems as it Applies to 29 CFR 1926.500(G)(1)
  • Information Date: 03/08/1982
  • Standard Number: 1926.500(g)(1)

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