Protect Your Rooftop Employees using Guardrails


In any work environment, safety and precaution should always be emphasized to avert and eliminate the dangers that lurk. Employees are usually the driving force of any organization; thus, it’s upon every employer to look for ways that can facilitate the safety of their workers. Most of the injuries and accidents that occur in workplaces can easily be avoided. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the body that governs the safety of employees in workplaces. Additionally, it also ensures that everyone who has been hired by a particular company is adequately trained. Businesses that are found violating various safety guidelines stipulated by OSHA risk being penalized.

There’s usually a lot of risks involved when working on rooftops; thus, the installation of roof guardrails is important to prevent fall accidents. Roof guardrails can be tailored to fit the model and design of any rooftop. There are several specifications given by OSHA to ensure the standardization and uniformity of roof guardrails.

Safety and Compliance

Guardrails are supposed to be sturdy enough to withstand a force of 200 pounds. Rooftop guardrails that have been made using thin materials are more likely to cause lacerations. Consequently, OSHA has specified that the topmost rail and the mid-rail be approximately a quarter-inch thick. Furthermore, the surface of the guardrails should be smooth and seamless to avoid snagging the clothes or injuring the skin of the people that are close by.

Elements That Affect the Installation of Roof Guardrails

Before installing guardrails on roofs, there are several aspects you need to consider to ensure safety and efficiency. Apart from the guardrails that are commonly installed at the edges of roofs, things such as accessways, skylights, and parapets will affect the design and installations of this safety equipment.

Skylights and Openings

Skylights play a very important role in improving the lighting, design, and aesthetics of a particular room. However, they also pose several safety challenges, especially for employees who frequently work on rooftops. To prevent any injuries, OSHA has stipulated several measures including setting up designated guardrails around the opening or installing a cover that can support twice the weight of the material that has been used.

Roofs That Have Access Ways

Rooftops are often accessed differently depending on the building; while some have staircases to access their pinnacle, others use hatches. This means that different approaches would be used when installing guardrails on these roofs. Any openings on the stairs must be guarded by railings; similarly, hatches have to be adequately surrounded by protective railings. Hatches also have to be fitted with grab bars to make it easier for employees to access them.

Roofs That Have Parapets

Parapets are sections of the wall that protrude above the edge of the walls. Buildings with parapets that aren’t long enough can potentially cause trip and fall accidents. Thus, extension guard rails should always be installed on buildings that have short parapets on their rooftops.

Roofs That Have Runways or Ramps

In particular instances, runways or ramps are fitted on the roof to facilitate efficiency. All the same, according to the guidelines provided by OSHA, the unprotected sides of these platforms need to be fitted with guardrails to make their access easier and safer for the people using them.

Final Thoughts

In any work environment, the safety of the people working there should always be regarded highly to avoid accidents. As the employer, observing the stipulated regulations can help you avoid unnecessary lawsuits that could end up being very costly for your business. Be sure to implement the points that have been mentioned above to provide optimum safety for your employees in your business.




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