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Falls through fragile roof surfaces are one of biggest causes of serious injuries. Deaths caused by falls through fragile surfaces occur mainly to those who carry out small, short-term maintenance and cleaning jobs.
Effective precautions must be taken for all work on or near fragile surfaces, no matter how short the duration. Accidents can be avoided as long as suitable equipment is used and those carrying out the work are provided with adequate information, training, and supervision. Kee Safety offers a range of safety systems specifically designed for working on fragile roofs.
A roof is considered fragile if it is unable to take the weight of a person stepping onto it. Roofs can become fragile over time due to natural wear and tear, or they might have been fragile from the start. Fragile roofs are typically found on industrial buildings, e.g. factories and warehouses.
Access onto a fragile roof is often required for maintenance, inspection, cleaning or general repairs. Effective precautions must be taken for all work on or near fragile surfaces, no matter how short the duration. Accidents can be avoided as long as suitable equipment is used and those carrying out the work are provided with adequate information, training and supervision.
The principles of working on fragile surfaces are exactly the same as any other form of work at height, you need to apply the hierarchy of control to ensure that the work can be carried out safely.
The preferred option is to avoid working at height, but this isn’t always possible, so the next consideration should be to look at methods that could allow work to be carried out without actually stepping onto the fragile roof itself, such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).
If access onto the fragile roof cannot be avoided, you need to conduct a thorough Risk Assessment and look at how the area can be accessed safely, and then put into place measures that can alleviate the distance and consequences of a potential fall.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as protecting the edge of the roof with a guardrail, using staging or platforms with edge protection on the roof to spread the load, or by protecting fragile roof lights and skylights with a cover to prevent access onto the surface itself.
Board-Walk, is a lightweight aluminium walkway which allows access from eaves to ridge whilst spreading the load on support battens. The system provides the user with a safe working position for skin maintenance, inspection, cleaning or re-sealing work on fragile roofs. The Board-Walk system is compliant with EN12811-1.
Board-Walk is modular and features 1m, 2m, 3m & 4m sections that are quickly and easily linked together and an integral full-length work positioning line. Single or double-sided handrails, a roof hook, and a valley stop end are all available as extras.
For roofs with valley gutters, we provide the Valley-Walk system, a mobile walking frame for one or two persons, designed to aid access along valley gutters and provide mobile roof cover. The cushioned aluminium mesh outriggers can also carry light payloads.
Roof-Walk is the fully guarded rolling work platform, and it is our most comprehensive fragile roof solution. The platform is available in both 4.6m and 2.5m, and the twin 4m track sections can be linked together to cover as much area as you need.