D-marc 105TM demarcation system – a collective protection demarcation solution.
The doctrine “prevention is better than cure” is one that rings true in so many instances. Common sense tells us that it much better to prevent a fall than it is to arrest the fall once it has occurred. The Working at Height Regulations (WAHR’s) 2005 reinforce this argument.
Whilst in many instances it is not always practical to remove the risk of a fall; rainwater outlets will always require cleaning, rooftop plant will require regular maintenance etc.. there are a number of ways to protect the worker from the immediate hazard the fall presents. The simplest way and that which much closely echo’s the doctrine “prevention is better than cure” is to keep the worker away from the fall hazard.
The most effective way of achieving this and that which is advocated by the WAHR’s is through the provision of a Collective Protection solution. A collective protection solution is one which will “collectively protect all those who access the area”. In a rooftop situation where the hazard is a fall from the roof edge, Collective protection can be achieved by raising the parapet or through the installation of a full perimeter guardrail. Alternatively the worker can be kept a safe distance from the roof edge through the installation of a demarcation system. –Health and Safety in Roofwork HSG 33 states that “where work is not done at the edge, demarcation barriers can be provided at a safe distance from the edge (usually at least 2 meters), e.g. work on an air conditioning unit in the middle of a roof.”.
An example of where The D-marc demarcation system has recently been specified and installed at Crown Woods College, Eltham to provide safe access to rooftop mounted plant. The client was looking for a solution that would;
- Provide a collective protection solution
- Not penetrate the existing roof covering and therefore not compromise the roofs waterproofing or air-tightness.
- Be lightweight so as not to require an additional support structure.
- Provide easily identifiable access routes ensuring no exposure to fall hazards
- Be low maintenance and ideally have good environmental credentials.
D-marc was able to meet all these criteria and has the additional benefit of giving the customer the piece of mind that whilst it does not rely upon any means of mechanical fixing to the roof structure, it is tested to withstand wind speeds in excess of 105 mph. Such testing is a requirement of BS6399-2 Code of Practice for Wind loads which states that all components that form a building are required to withstand a 1 in 50 year wind speed.
D-marc was used extensively on the project as part of the collective protection demarcation system to create clearly defined safe access routes across the roof to the places requiring regular maintenance work. Having created the safe routes to the places of work, the D-marc was then used to demarcate the safe working zones upon the roof top. To ensure a complete collective protection solution was provided in isolated areas where it was not possible to keep the worker away from the fall hazard a guardrail was used.
The easy to install, non penetrating D-marc system creates a clearly defined access route and a safe working zone for all those undertaking regular rooftop maintenance works.