Easy and Effective Ways to Improve Your Rooftop Safety

Easy and Effective Ways to Improve Your Rooftop Safety

21st October 2020

Rooftops are a host to several safety hazards. Several accidents and injuries occurring at the roofs are normally as a result of obstacles from equipment and unsecured access points. This makes it important to ensure you have proper measures in place to improve the safety of your roof and protect your workforce and contractors. We have prepared a list of easy but effective ways to enhance the safety of your rooftop. Please read on.


  1. Hatches

If you’re looking for a quick and compact means to access the roof of your building, rooftop hatches can be your solution. However, these access points come with their share of safety hazards. A hole is left behind that leads to the floor below, especially if the hatch is left open.  Such a hole will be susceptible to trips and falls hence the need for proper protection. To protect the hatches, consider installing non-penetrating guardrail systems with self-closing gates.


  1. Crossovers

Most commercial rooftops are riddled with obstacles such as ductwork, pipes, rooftop equipment, and electrical wires. Oftentimes, you’ll need to access the other side of the obstacles, and you’ll need to consider your safety. Crossover platforms such as up and over stairs are the most convenient and easiest way to safely get full access through different obstacles on your roof.


  1. Ladders

Fixed ladders can be used to conveniently gain access to roofs. You need to include proper protection on the ladders for your safety. Ladder cages are no longer recommended for ladder protection. If the ladder is longer than 24’, ensure to install a ladder safety system or a proper personal fall arrest. You should also install a self-closing gate at the top of the ladder to protect the opening. You can bolt the gate to the guardrail or directly to your ladder.


  1. Skylights

These are passageways for natural light through the roof into a building. However, if they are left uncovered, they can become a death trap, especially if the workers fail to see it. The screen itself can hardly support the weight of a worker and they may easily fall through. To eliminate this hazard, you can add guardrails or covers to the skylights. You can also decide to use non-penetrating covers to prevent any possible leaks through the skylights.


  1. Roof Edge

Rooftops, just like any other elevated surface, can be very risky. It is not safe to be near an edge with a minimum of 4’ drop without proper fall protection. You can install a guardrail around the roof for your protection. You don’t need to look for a complicated guardrail. There are different railings that you can consider for your rooftop regardless of the design. You can decide to install parapet mounted railing, metal roof railing, or non-penetrating guardrail. 

The Bottom Line

Installing all the necessary protection systems in your rooftop may not be a guarantee that accidents won’t happen. You need to have an effective response plan to ensure the victims are rescued as soon as possible to prevent further injuries and possible suspension trauma. You should also ensure the availability of communication devices to frequently maintain contact with your workers at the roof.