Safety on the Roof is Everybody’s Responsibility
Roof construction is one of the most hazardous occupations because there is a high risk of falls and/or tools and materials dropping onto people below – this means that’s it’s essential to take the correct precautions to manage the risks involved. Roof safety is vital throughout all stages of the construction process – design, specification and installation, and also throughout the normal life of the building.
Working on a roof during the construction and installation stage and the subsequent operational phase must be carried out with extreme caution and only by experienced and competent people. Contractors and others planning to work on a roof must plan and document a safe system of work which includes carrying out a specific risk assessment and method statement before construction begins.
Whilst modern metal-based industrial and commercial roofing systems (including the roof lights and any components which have been tested, assessed and rated for non-fragility, then installed in accordance with manufacturer’s installation instructions) provide a sound platform for working, the use of edge protection, safety netting and safety line systems with attached safety harnesses should always be part of the safe system of work.
Those who work at height are expected to accept a degree of responsibility for their own safety, which is why health and safety training is essential. Contracting companies, individual workers and the building owner/occupier all have a responsibility when it comes to ensuring that the work is conducted in a safe manner.
The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) required that buildings are designed with safety in mind, not only for the construction period, but during the life of the building thereafter. This means that there is a requirement to consider the ongoing and future safety of people whose work involves maintenance, installations of PVs, inspections, repair and even demolition. Therefore, the design process must provide permanent access to the roof via a fixed ladder and hatch, or walkways and edge protection.
The 2005 Work at Height Regulations (WAHR) applies to all work at height where there is any risk of a fall liable to cause injury. The responsibility is placed on employers, the self-employed and any person who controls the work of others, such as facilities managers and building owners/occupiers.
Safety is the responsibility of all who work on site, with the focus on preventing accidents from happening. Here at D-marc, safety is our prime concern – we manufacture and provide access solutions that make working on roofs safer. Our Roof Walker System for flat roofs is easy to install without penetrating the roofing material and provides a non-slip pathway for workers to carry out regular inspection and maintenance work on the roof or plant installed on it. The walkway can be used in conjunction with our demarcation barriers in order to provide a complete solution for working on flat roof.