Flat Roofs - When Should a Guardrail be Installed?

May 14 2019 0comment

Flat Roofs - When Should a Guardrail be Installed?

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Ensuring safety on rooftops with the correct equipment and complying with regulations is more important than ever, especially with the knowledge that 2018 saw a small upward trend (1%) in falls from height in 2018, when compared with the previous year.  This has led to the installation of work at height equipment into refurbishments and new developments at the early stages, so today we’re taking a look at when collective edge protection in the form of a guardrail provides the most suitable solution.

According to UK Building Regulations Park K, a guardrail should consist of two horizontal rails with a minimum height of 1,1000mm and should be able to withstand an equally distributed load of 0.74kN per metre.  There is a clause in Part K of the regs which states that “if access will be required less frequently than once a month, it may be appropriate to use temporary guarding”. 

Here at D-marc, we provide roof barrier systems specifically designed to meet a wide range of requirements and to be used in a variety of applications.  Our demarcation barriers are suited for use on flat roofs with a slope of up to 10 degrees. 

Whatever the reason that roof access is required, be it for preventing access to hazards during regular rooftop maintenance or to provide less regular safe access to areas of the rooftop, a demarcation barrier to restrict access to safe areas is vital.  Any demarcation system or barrier should be placed a safe distance (usually 2 metres) from the hazard.

Here at D-marc we provide our clients with patented demarcation apparatus for use on flat roofs in order to comply with the Working at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR 2005).  A demarcation barrier system can be used to create a safe route to any machinery or plant located on the roof, enabling a safe method for regular maintenance and repair work.   The demarcation barrier can also be used to prevent access to the most dangerous areas of the roof, including the edge, and can be installed instead of a guardrail.   Any demarcation barrier that is intended to prevent access to the edge of the roof should be installed at least 2 metres from the roof edge.

Our roof barrier systems comprise four components – a base, an upright, polyethylene chain, and connector links.  The system has been wind tunnel tested on several types of roofing membranes and is able to resist wind speeds of up to 105 mph.  Furthermore, the system can be installed without any specialised tools or training and we provide complete instructions for doing so.  The system is versatile and can be designed and installed to suit specific individual requirements.  The system can also be used at ground level, when necessary, making this an ideal solution in a wide range of applications.

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