Your Complete Guide to Roof Barrier System for Safe Roof Access

August 05 2019 0comment

Your Complete Guide to Roof Barrier System for Safe Roof Access

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Over the past few decades, several thousands of deaths in the workplace or homes caused by falls from heights have been reported. A fall protection system is an essential requirement when working at heights of 6 feet and above (with a few exceptions) as per the OSHA standards. This guide contains all the important information you need for an ultimate roof barrier system for safe roof access. Please read on.

What circumstances determine when fall protection is required? Does the distance from the rooftop edge matter? Well, not at all, the risk has to be addressed depending on the type of work being done regardless of the distance from the edge. The OSHA and ANSI standards contain guidelines and conditions on how roofing work should be conducted to enhance safety.  

Accessing flat roofs can be as hazardous as sloped roofs since the work is still conducted at height. This calls for proper fall protection measures – flat roof fall protection barrier, to protect anyone accessing the roof from all fall hazards. Especially if they’ll be installing or repairing the roof, 20 feet or more and maybe with backward-pulling machinery. Some of the common fall protection measures include catch platforms, personal fall protection, standard railings, toe boards, and scaffold platforms. You can also mark the edges with warning lines and headers to alert the workers and anyone accessing the roof of the potential fall hazard areas. This can be done using the guidelines below:

  • Headers and warning lines to be placed all around the roof perimeter. The warning lines should be between 34 to 45 inches long.
  • Place lay headers at least 5 feet apart inside the roof edges and parallel to the roofline.
  • Motorised riding equipment should not be stored between the roof and the warning line.
  • Move the headers and warning lines around the roof if there’s work in progress to alert workers of the hazard.    
  • Always avoid operating equipment that’s pulled backward within 3 feet of the edge.

For pathways that are not in use, you can fasten a chain, wire or rope across the pathway entrance – the fastener should be as strong as the warning lines. Post and chain barrier installation is a common protection method in both residential and commercial buildings. The recommended space between the posts is 6 feet or less for commercial installations and 8 feet or less for residential installations. However, the posts are to be set closer together when dealing with curves and turns. For maximum safety it’s recommended that the posts are set in concrete (at least 6 inches) to prevent heaving.    

The Bottom Line

Accessing the roof of your commercial or residential building can be hazardous. It’s essential to look for a system that both meets the set OSHA and ANSI fall protection requirements and is easy to install and use. You may not find a roof barrier system that meets the needs of your application for some reasons. In such a case, you can have the system customized to meet these needs without compromising on safety when accessing the roof, if you need one of our barrier for flat roof systems customised, please contact us!. Having a certified professional to supervise the roof work closely will ensure that everything is done right the first time. Good luck, and stay safe!  


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