5 Easy Ways To Increase Safety On Your Rooftop


Companies and OSHA make fall protection safety complicated. Being distracted by technical jargon and confused by the wording of OSHA 1910 can leave you paralyzed from addressing known issues.

We are here to simplify fall protection for you. Rooftops have several areas known for creating hazards. Here are the top 5 and how to easily protect them.

1. Hatches

Rooftop hatches are a compact and quick means of accessing a roof. However, that comes with its share of hazards. Once you have gone through the hatch into the roof, you have left behind a hole that leads to the floor below.

Hatch railing with self-closing gate

Open hatches are susceptible to trips and falls. These must be protected as addressed in OSHA 1910.28(b)(3).

The simplest way to do so would be by using a non-penetrating guardrail system with a self-closing gate.

2. Skylights

Though created with good intent, these gateways for light easily become a death trap for the unaware. Cover them.

skylight screen on rooftop

Also noted in OSHA 1910.28(b)(3), adding a cover or guardrail to your skylight seals off that hazard once and for all. These can be non-penetrating, leaving zero concern for potential leaks.

3. Ladders

It is not uncommon to see several fixed ladders around a building. Seeing proper protection on the ladders is far more common. Remember, ladder cages are out!

self-closing gate at the top of a ladder

The top of your ladder must have a self-closing gate to protect the opening. By knowing the opening of your ladder, you can simply purchase one and bolt it directly to your ladder or guardrail.

For any ladder over 24’, some form of personal fall arrest or ladder safety system must be installed.

4. Crossovers

Roofs can be riddled with pipes and obstacles. Reality is that you will need to get to the other side of these obstacles safely.

crossover platform on rooftop

Crossover platforms are the quickest and easiest way to reduce risk while granting workers full access to the roof.

5. Edge

Being on a roof means you are elevated off the ground. Being near an edge with a 4’ drop or higher is not safe. Guardrail is always your best option for fall protection. Fortunately, there are easy ways to get guardrail on your roof.

non-penetrating guardrail on roof

Welders come at a cost and lots of paperwork. Guardrail doesn’t need to be complicated. That is why you see a more significant push for modular type railings. There is a type of guardrail to fit any rooftop, whether you need non-penetrating, metal roof railing, or parapet mounted railing.

There are several dangerous areas on a rooftop. By protecting obvious ones on this list, you are now that much safer from an accident on the job. This certainly is not exhaustive, but an excellent start for anyone concerned about the safety of their employees.

For a complete rooftop assessment to pinpoint all fall hazards, schedule a free audit below!

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