Safe Roof Access: Investigating The Options

You can gain access to your roof for many reasons, such as routine maintenance, equipment inspections, minor roof repairs, or replacement of the HVAC filter. It is less common for contractors or employees to work on roofs for long periods such as when building new buildings, re-roofing, installing ventilation systems, and other similar tasks.

While falls from height have been decreasing in recent years, it is still a leading cause of workplace deaths and a major source of injuries. It is therefore essential that roof access systems of the highest quality are designed, installed, and maintained. Training personnel in the correct use of safety equipment is also essential. This is an area that is often overlooked.

Walkways

Some roofs may require a non-slip surface. This, along with the increased longevity of roofing materials has increased the need for walkways.

Combining handrails and roof walkways can provide safe access to the roof. Safe access across roofs is possible with walkways. They can be used on many roof types including:

  • The Standing Seam
  • A membrane (Protan or Bitumen, Trocal).
  • Metallic profiles (Composite or Secret Fix, Built-up)
  • Conventional (Slate/Tile, Copper/Lead, Cement, Lead, etc.)

A designated walkway is a way to reduce maintenance costs and prolong the roof’s life. This makes roof maintenance easier and requires no additional training.

For those areas that require regular access, walkways are particularly useful in installing standing seam aluminum roofs. Maintenance personnel can have easy and safe access to the walkways without having to go through the seam. This allows for a greater distribution of the load over a larger number of bearers. It also reduces the chance of damaging cement roofs and aluminum roof trays. Additionally, it prevents personnel from falling through asbestos/brittle cement roofs.

Walkways and fall protection systems must be lightweight, easy to clean, and free from rot. Because they are not penetration-proof, the roof’s integrity won’t be compromised during installation. The walkways are usually made in light grey.

Gantries On The Roof

For accessing the equipment and high-level plants, a raised steel gantry system is ideal. The gantry can either be supported by existing structures or by ground-level steelwork. Maintenance personnel will have safe access to roofs and voids as well as roof plants.

Roof Lighting

Roof lights pose a serious hazard to roof structures and anyone who gains access to them must be aware of the dangers around their edges. Protect roof lights with guardrails or covers. Personal fall arrest systems can also be used to protect employees who work near roof lights. It all depends on the job. A guardrail or cover is best if employees are exposed from their work on the roof. If the roof work involved the replacement, repair, or reglazing of the roof light, a personal fall arrest system might be more appropriate.

Easy Access Via Ladders

Access ladders offer a steady and safe way to access the roof and can be used as an escape route if there is a fire.

Steel ladders can be equipped with safety cages, vertical fall arrest systems, or landing platforms. There are many options for vertical ladders to access high-risk areas. Cat ladders, Up and Over ladders, and Up and Over ladders can be used for machinery access. Vertical fall arrest systems shouldn’t be used with cages. Ladders shouldn’t exceed 6 meters in length.

Access ladders are versatile and can be used in many settings including offices, public buildings, and private housing. They can also be attached to metal, wood, or brick structures. Because they cannot be removed from the top, they fold up to form a ladder. This ladder is great for window fire escape routes.

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