Accessing a rooftop is often a necessity for an employee. Is your rooftop as safe as it should be?
Why do people access the roof in the first place? What is a worker’s purpose for going on the roof? Where do they need to go upon the roof in order to achieve that purpose? Once you have determined all of the reasons for a worker to gain access to the roof, ask yourself some questions about their walkway.
- On a Standing Seam Metal roof, or Metal Profile roof, do they have a level walkway system to avoid tripping over the seams/ crowns and valleys?
- On a flat roof have we thought about limiting unnecessary access to the leading edge? (A demarcation system should be placed 2m back from the fall hazard or leading edge to provide a clearly visible barrier from the danger.)
- Is this the path of least resistance? (It might be smarter to purchase a crossover stair system to get over piping rather than walk closer to the edge)
- Are there any skylights by which people will be walking? (If the skylight manufacturer does not label the skylight as fall protection rated, it should be considered as a hole in the roof and it will need to be covered by either a screen or surrounded by a railing.)
If access to the entire roof is desired then the most comprehensive and safe system that can be deployed is a perimeter railing system that surrounds the entire roof surface. If the perimeter needs to be accessed, but only a couple of times a year, then a Horizontal Lifeline System may be more appropriate.
Another consideration is the training that is needed for different systems. A railing system requires no training but users of a horizontal lifeline system have to be trained to comply with regulations.
Do your part to separate people from hazards and maintain a safe work area!
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