Unprotected flat roofs are commonplace. Falls from unprotected edges can cause serious injury or even be fatal. If you have flat roofs at your premises, it’s important to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of anyone who requires access.
Take, for example, roofs in schools. It is not uncommon for caretakers to regularly access them to deal with objects which find their way onto the roof (tennis balls, clothing, gym kits etc!). Items like these can damage the roof or cause issues such as blocked drains which then require emergency attention.
If appropriate safety measures are not in place, external contractors may even refuse to undertake work close to unprotected edges. This means that employees may be more likely to take a chance to complete the job. Taking this risk with possible hazards such as cables, aerials, vents and uneven surfaces, a flat roof quickly becomes a hazardous place to be. The risks are further heightened when surfaces are wet or flooded.
What Type of Protection is Best?
So what type of protection should you use? It is critical for everyone with a flat roof to match access needs to controls.
Where there are zones or equipment that need frequent access, these areas should be edge protected. For areas requiring less frequent access, it is may not practical to provide edge protection around vast expanses of flat roof. For areas needing less frequent access, perhaps those requiring access once or twice a year, invest in safety lines which can be used by skilled operators. Make sure to position safety lines for potential emergency rescue access.
If you require access more than 2m from the edge, a demarcation barrier
indicating the safe walkway is an appropriate control.
Need help with your edge protection? Call the Hiteworx team on 0333 234 1801.