Roof Fall Protection Skylights

There are a number of benefits that the roof skylights provide. They can significantly help you to reduce the energy costs. The daylight that they let in can positively affect the physiological and psychological well-being of people working inside a building. However, they can be a major fall hazard. If left unguarded, a worker working around one or a person walking close to one can accidentally fall into it, and can suffer serious injuries or even death. A roof skylight system can prevent such incidents from happening. In fact, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mandates that a skylight be covered with a screen or a railing be installed around it.

There are three solutions that you may opt for to implement skylight fall protection in your building:

Skylight Guardrail system (non-penetrating)

NON-PENETRATING SKYLIGHT GUARDRAILSGuard rails are installed around the skylight to act as a barrier between the skylight and the people accessing the roof. The special bases help the guardrail system to be installed without penetrating the roof. This prevents any roof leaks from happening. It also helps to maintain the integrity of the roof warranty. The guard rails are available in a number of sizes, including custom sizes. The skylight rail system is easy to transport and assemble, making it an ideal choice for temporary work sites. The powder-coated yellow guard rails and the galvanized components ensure that the skylight rail system lasts for a long time in an industrial environment.

Skylight Cover Guard system (non-penetrating)

NON-PENETRATING SKYLIGHT COVER GUARDIt has a freestanding, non-penetrating design. This one-piece skylight cover guard system eliminates the need for any assembly and requires no attachments to the skylight itself or to the roof. A worker who needs to work on the skylight can do so through the open sides of the system. The system can be installed for any rectangular/square roof skylights.

Skylight Screens/Cages (fixed)

FIXED ROOF SKYLIGHT SCREENSThe skylight is covered with a wire mesh framework that is strong enough to take the weight of a person standing or falling on top of it. The fixed skylight safety system (skylight screen/cage) offers passive protection, which means a worker does not have to be trained or have to take any precautions while working around a skylight. The system is available for corrugated/rib metal roof skylights, standing seam metal roof skylights, and curb-style skylights. Skylight screens do not compromise on the natural light that is let through the skylight.

  • Dome skylight safety screen – It provides fall protection for acrylic dome/pyramid skylights. It is easy to install and is very cost-effective. PVC extrusion is used to cover the exposed screen ends.
  • Corrugated metal roof skylight screen – They are installed at the same level as that of the corrugated metal roof panels. So, for a person standing on the roof, it is often difficult to detect these screens. Often installed for corrugated fiberglass skylights, corrugated metal roof skylight screens are easy to install and cost-effective.
  • Standing seam metal roof skylight screen – Ideal for trapezoidal standing seam skylights, standing seam metal roof skylight screens can be installed without any special tools. After welding, the screen is hot dipped galvanized.

Skylight fall hazard is often one that is overlooked. The main reason for that is that they appear safe. However, they are not, they can shatter on impact. It is imperative that you have a roof skylight system in place to ensure the safety of people accessing the roof, and to prevent OSHA from taking action against you for not having a roof fall protection in place.

A roof hatch offers safe access to roof areas for workers engaged in HVAC equipment maintenance works, renovation works, and so on. Most of the non-residential buildings are equipped with a roof hatch safety system. A typical roof hatch safety system comprises of grab bars and a self-closing safety gate. An open roof hatch, especially one that is unattended, can be dangerous. It is a fall hazard that can cause injury or even death. It is a safety and liability concern that all the building owners must address. If a roof hatch safety system is not in place, it can result in a fine from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Working on the roof itself can be dangerous. You may think that as long as the worker looks where he/she is going, there is no risk of falling through the roof hatch. However, in reality, that is not the case. No matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility of falling down a roof hatch, maybe while you are carrying something around or by losing balance suddenly. A roof hatch safety guardrail will help to prevent this.

Compliance options

OSHA Safety FirstThere are a number of ways the building owners can ensure compliance with OSHA fall protection standards when it comes to roof hatches. They can instruct the workers to immediately close the hatch after accessing the roof, and then open it only to exit the area. However, it is not a very practical option since they cannot enforce all the building personnel to do this. Also, it is difficult to check whether this is followed religiously. Hence, a railing system with its own self-closing gate is the best option. Once a worker enters the roof area or exits it, the gate will automatically swing shut. This and the railings will maintain a barrier around the opening, all the time. This will prevent anybody from falling down the roof hatch accidentally. The grab bars offer extra safety while entering and exiting through the roof hatch.

Fixed roof hatch safety guardrail

Like the name indicates, it is a permanent roof hatch guardrail system. It can be used on a variety of roofs. It provides fall arrest and fall restraint around openings and leading edges of the roof. It is preferred on a lot of modern buildings because of its stylish appearance. It can be bolted to the roof with a gasket connection. It can be easily installed. The system meets the OSHA standard 1910.23 (a) (2). Once the system is installed you do not have to worry about it anymore.

Non-penetrating roof hatch guardrail system

Hatch penetrations or roof curbs are not required to install this safety system. It is a one-piece design, hence it does not have to be assembled. It can be installed with minimal efforts. The non-penetrating roof hatch system can be installed without performing any drilling on the roof. It has a 2-feet safe landing zone. A worker can climb out, gain footing, and then open the safety gate.

Most of the modern day hatches and the safety guardrails are constructed out of corrosion-resistant and long-lasting materials. A hot-dip galvanized finish can ensure durability no matter what the outdoor environment is.

With a roof hatch safety system, a building owner can provide safety of workers working around open hatches.