Protecting Anyone Who Goes On Your Roof: Part II

So our last post might have been a little overwhelming, especially for someone who is just starting to understand what they need to do to provide a safe environment for people who go on your roof. But you did it! Your plan is flushed out. Now what?

Now it’s time to make sure that anyone who goes onto your roof has all of the right equipment. The second step is to PROVIDE.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell

As we mentioned in Part I, the roof pitch dictates a lot of the safety requirements. If your roof is more than 6 feet above a lower level (which it probably is…) then anyone who goes on it is at risk for serious injury or death if they fall. A guardrail system, or PFAS (Personal fall arrest system), or a safety net system are OSHA approved ways to keep you and your crew safe while at those heights. Employers must also provide the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

A PFAS consists of (A) an anchor, (B) a harness, and (C) a lifeline or lanyard. PFAS needs to be used properly to be effective. So how do you know if you are using it correctly?

First of all, it is important not to attach anchors to sheathing, single trusses, or more guardrails. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing anchorage. The fall arrest systems must be designed and set up to prevent a worker from free falling more than 6 feet or contacting a lower level.

Guardrail systems can be placed either around the entire perimeter of the roof or just around roof openings. A guardrail must be 39-45 inches above walking surfaces. They need to be able to withstand a 200-pound force in any outward or downward direction.

If there is a hole for materials to come through or as points of access, then their needs to be a gate or have the guardrail be offset so someone doesn’t walk right into the hole.

These items will help to keep your crew safe while they are working on the roof. Now start shopping and make sure that you can provide everyone who goes on your roof with the right equipment!

If you have any questions and want some recommendations, we at Thermal-Tec have some products that we use frequently and we’d love to hear your needs and help you make a decision. Call a roofing expert here.

Part III will cover how to ensure that all of this important equipment is used to its fullest potential!

United States, Congress, “Protecting Roof Workers.” Protecting Roof Workers, OSHA, pp. 8–16.