As a building owner, you already know that the roof can be one of the most dangerous parts of your building. Approximately 36.5% of all deaths in the workplace occur as a result of falls.
While everyone understands that many workplace falls happen by those working in the roofing industry, fall protection systems are essential for any worker who has to spend time on top of a roof.
Besides roofers, roof inspectors, maintenance workers, HVAC workers, and building inspectors may need to visit the roof of your building periodically. A proactive approach to fall protection (such as a personal fall arrest system) is one of the best ways to ensure safety for everyone.
OSHA Fall Protection Systems
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines for roofing safety measures required for commercial and industrial roofs.
We would like to give you a basic rundown of these guidelines, especially regarding the edges, skylights, and hatches. Please note that further research will determine the rules for your specific structure.
Fall Protection Guidelines
The best commercial roofing companies are regularly inspected and audited by internal and third-party inspectors.
These inspectors work to reduce risk, identify potential hazards, and ensure compliance with safety measures. When hiring a commercial roofing company, ensure the company follows these protocols before signing the contract.
Where to Add Roof Fall Protection Equipment
Add Roof Safety Rails Near Edges
Commercial roofs may need top-ridge anchors installed, allowing inspectors and contractors to attach safety cords when doing rooftop work.
Also called roof davits, these anchors should be attached at various points – especially on buildings that don’t have walls around the roof edge.
Additionally, if HVAC units are within six feet of an edge, a roof guard rail may need to be placed between the unit’s side and the roof’s edge.
If a skylight (or a hole in the roof’s surface) is in the vicinity of the walking surface, the space must be protected with fall protection screens or guardrails.
In order to meet OSHA regulations, you may need to install a hatch railing system.
These railing systems allow workers to access the roof from a ladder inside the building, including a grab bar for the climber. Roof hatch railing systems make getting on or off the roof surface safer and easier.
What If You Don’t Follow OHSA Guidelines?
You could be subject to fines if you don’t follow OSHA regulations and allow people to walk on a roof without these precautions.
You could also face insurance issues for not following the roof safety rules.
While both acts of discipline may initially hurt the building owner’s bottom line, it’s nothing compared to the emotional toll that would be felt if a fall hazard was ignored, causing a worker’s death.
Our Commitment to Roofing Safety
Nations Roof was honored to receive the National Underwriter’s Excellence in Workers’ Compensation and Risk Management Award. However, we don’t work for those awards for our own glory. Instead, it shows our investment in safety.
We know how dangerous rooftop work can be, so we set strict standards on following safety protocol because we care about our employees, customers, and their families.
Nations Roof focuses on roof safety training, injury prevention, continuing education, and accountability. Our team utilizes fall protection equipment and implements best practices on the roof, ladder, road, and ground.
We also know that other workers will follow and deserve safe access to the top of the building.
That’s why we help companies meet safety compliance and fall protection regulations by installing safety systems to keep workers safe from falling.
Learn More About Fall Hazards and Protection Equipment
To learn more about fall protection equipment and methods, including a guardrail system or other safety equipment, contact Nations Roof. We’re the leaders of workplace safety in the roofing industry.