Do you need a Roof Walkway on your Business Premises?

January 03 2018 0comment

Do you need a Roof Walkway on your Business Premises?

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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) require that all designers must eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during construction and, crucially, during the maintenance and use of the building once it has been completed and is in use.  Many of our business premises here in the UK feature flat roofs and this is often the place where equipment like air conditioning and heating units are installed, keeping them out of the way and freeing up space in the building below.

Siting this type of equipment on a flat roof means that regular access will be required for maintenance and repair.  The maintenance work involved will mean that workers will need to access the rooftop on a regular basis in order to carry out the work so a safe means of access must be provided so that workers are able to carry out maintenance and repair tasks in safety.

Of course, siting equipment or machinery on a flat roof has implications for the integrity of both the roof structure and the roofing membrane used and, if the plant is too heavy for the waterproofing to support or requires fixing down to the structure of the roof, then it is necessary to introduce a support system that can easily be waterproofed.  For example, hollow section beams should be used in preference to section beams, and the larger the section, the easier it is to waterproof.  It should be remembered that any fixings used should be of the flush head variety in order to allow for successful waterproofing.

When it comes to accessing the plant or machinery for inspection, maintenance or repair, this means that there is a requirement for regular foot traffic across the roof and this means that you may be required to provide protection to the surface of the waterproofing. 

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state:

“In a workplace every floor, traffic route and walkway should not have holes or slopes, or be uneven or slippery, exposing people to health and safety risks.”

Under this regulation, if there is plant or maintenance areas on a roof that require regular maintenance accessed by walking, then this are must not have holes or slopes, must not be uneven or slippery.  This is where a rooftop walkway can help – it will provide safe access to the machinery, plant or work areas without unnecessary additional risk for the workers expected to carry out the tasks. 

Moreover, a rooftop walkway system can often be installed without the need for specialised equipment and it’s possible to choose a walkway that will not damage the roof membrane in any way.  This means that building owners and managers can fully comply with regulations on keeping the workforce safe and minimising risks, without damaging the roof membrane, making this a win-win option for everybody involved.  Our D-marc Roofwalker system can be placed directly onto the surface of the roof without damaging the waterproofing membrane and is fabricated from anti-slip material is fully recycled so not only is it safe for those walking on it, it’s safer for the environment too!

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