Although roof safety systems can seem like an expensive obligation, it’s always smart to invest. As a matter of fact, it is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that certain parameters are set into place for roof safety; otherwise, you could find yourself responsible for substantial fines or worse. However, not many are aware of how far fall protection technology has come. There are all kinds of different OSHA-approved devices for roofs of all slopes and sizes. You have to be prepared for any type of roof if you want to make them safe for your workers and prevent damage to vulnerable spots in the roof. Below, we list seven different varieties of roof safety systems to keep your workers safe.
1. Roof Guardrails
Most people would think that a guardrail is a guardrail, but there are actually several types with different features for whatever purpose or surface you need them for. You could put up a temporary guardrail for a roof that will have added safety features later, or a more permanent one if it will need to be accessed by non-workers in the future. They all have different features like padding, different assortments of floor mounting, easy-to-assemble features, and more.
Related: All About Guardrail Systems
2. Roof Anchors
There are two major types of roof anchors, depending on your needs:
- Non-Penetrating Portable Roof Anchor: consists of an extremely heavy weight that can be easily moved, allowing attached workers to work on rooftops one section at a time.
- Fixed Roof Anchor: consists of a much smaller anchor that drills into the rooftop that workers can be attached to.
3. Ladder Fall Arrest
For every kind of ladder you can think of, there is an OSHA-approved fall protection designed specifically for it. For example:
- Steel Ladders: ladder cable fall protection when climbing on poles, towers, etc.
- Roof Hatch Ladders: ladder cable fall protection when climbing fixed ladders and transitioning to an upper level.
- Steel or Wood Poles: ladder cable fall protection that consists of a steel vertical lifeline system when climbing utility poles, wooden towers, etc.
- Steel Ladder: rigid track fall protection connects the worker to its system by a rail shuttle.
- Fixed Ladder: uses a self-retracting lifeline (SRL) fall protection that can be fixed at any point.
Related: OSHA Ladder Safety
4. Roof Hatch Systems
There are two major types of roof hatch fall protection:
- Roof Hatch Fixed Guardrail: a four-sided railing system that usually features a self-closing gate.
- Roof Non-Penetrating Hatch Guard: a portable railing system made for roof hatches that does not require roof curbs or hatch penetrations for installation.
5. Roof Skylight Guards
Not only are roof skylight guards important for the safety of your workers, but it could be disastrous if there were people inside during a fall. Some different examples include fixed dome skylight screens, skylight cover guard, skylight guardrail, standing seam and corrugated skylights.
6. Roof Horizontal Lifeline
The two main types of roof horizontal lifelines are permanent and temporary. Permanent lifelines require an anchor in the ground while the temporary version hangs in the air while fixed to OSHA-approved objects.
7. Roof Warning Line Systems
There are two main types of warning line systems, which prevent falls by roping off dangerous areas. They include:
- Non-penetrating Roof Warning Lines: can be placed on most roofs.
- Fixed Roof Warning Line: used for standing seam roofs, R-panel roofs, and corrugated decks.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.