As a roofing contractor, you know that any holes or changes in the integrity of a roof can pose a serious risk to your safety. It was recently announced at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo that fall protection was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) most cited violation. This is with good reason. Falls represent 33.5 percent of all workplace fatalities.
One of those most challenging fall hazards that roofing contractors face is also one of the most common in homes, the skylight. While skylights create great natural light for kitchens and bathrooms, it presents a major danger to roofing contractors because it’s not as sturdy as the rest of the roof. When working around a skylight, if you put any pressure on it (from leaning for example), you can easily fall through.
What OSHA Has to Say About Skylights
There are specific OSHA fall protection regulations that apply to skylights. According to the OSHA General Industry Standard, skylight floor openings and holes should be guarded by a standard skylight screen or a fixed standard railing on all exposed sides. Also, skylight screens must support at least twice the weight of the employee, plus equipment and materials.
Safety Tips Around Skylights
Protecting yourself when working around skylights is vital. Use these tips to prevent injury:
- Make sure skylights are clearly marked while working
- Make sure the skylight has a screen over it
- Guardrails can be used around skylights
- Never lean or place your body on a skylight
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.