Roofing Work in the Wind can be Risky

February 24 2017 0comment

Roofing Work in the Wind can be Risky

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Working on roofs is the riskiest type of work at height, especially when it’s windy – wind speed can pose a real danger to anybody working on a roof, no matter what the conditions at ground level are like.  In the construction industry, we’re well aware that any fall from a roof could result in a serious injury or death.  Falls can occur from the edges of roofs, through gaps in roofs and through fragile roof materials and roof lights.  Additionally, many people have been seriously injured by tools and materials falling from roofs.  Any work on a roof is considered to be high risk as it involves work at height, so stringent safety standards are essential when it comes to roof work. 

The HSE recommends that where work at height cannot be avoided, edge protection should be erected or a demarcation system should be put in place to designate safe areas.  Demarcated areas can be set up and nobody should go outside of these areas during the work or while accessing the work area.  Demarcated areas should be:

  • Limited to work areas from which nobody could fall
  • Indicated by a continuous physical barrier
  • Subject to close supervision to ensure that nobody strays outside the demarcated area.

Many traditional demarcations systems for rooftop use are unstable and suffer from wind uplift, causing them to fly off the roof at fairly low wind speeds of 50 mph.  However, the D-marc™ Roof Barrier System has undergone fairly robust wind tunnel testing.  D-marc™ was tested on single ply, concrete and bituminous roof surfaces and was able to resist wind speeds in excess of 105 mph. 

The system’s uprights are fabricated from a 304 stainless steel to EN I.4301 in order to provide a robust and durable product that will stand the test of time.  They’re powder coated which not only gives a great quality finish to the product, it actually extends the lifespan making this a cost-effective solution over time.  The upright section has been designed with a lattice structure so that wind circulates around and through the structure, rather than blowing against it and pushing it over and there’s an integral hook inside to make sure the chain cannot lift it off the upright in high winds.  The connecting pins don’t come into contact with the roof structure itself as they don’t protrude through the base, so this means that there’s no damage done to the roof, even in the strongest wind conditions. 

D-marc™’s plastic chain and connecting links are not only weather proof, they’re  resistant to chemicals, salt and frost which means they will not deteriorate and weaken in challenging conditions.  They are anti-magnetic and colour fast and can be used within temperature ranges of -10°C to 75°C.  The base of the products is aerodynamically shaped with sides that slope at a 30° angle for extra stability in windy weather and the underside of the base is sculpted to distribute the weight to the perimeter in order to minimise wind uplift.  As the base if manufactured from recycled tyres, (and is compliant with BS 1790 for flammability, BS 1006 for UV stability and BS7188 for slip resistance) so it’s an eco-friendly option for those who are looking forward to a greener future.

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Demarcation Apparatus Patent