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Roof guardrails: What to look out for when selecting a system?

GeneralRoof guardrails: What to look out for when selecting a system?

It can be hard to choose the right safety system for your roof. Avoid compromising safety. It is possible to endanger your roof’s protection by selecting an inappropriate method.

How do get started?

If you aren’t sure where to begin, why don’t we help you learn the Working at height hierarchy of control’.

The first rule of thumb is to not work at height. However, this is not always possible. This is why collective protective measures are being considered.

Roof edge protection is a group safety solution. An edge protection roof suitable for your roof will keep all people on it safe, including maintenance crews and employees.

A collective system will also eliminate human error, which is commonly attributed to the user. It means the user won’t have any worries about being able to wear a harness or connect to a personal security system. Instead, they can deliberate on the task at hand.

Try To Avoid Personal Safety Systems When Possible

As stated previously, collective protection should be chosen over personal protection wherever possible. Don’t choose the following solutions if there are better options.

  • Anchors for Single Point
  • Horizontal Lifelines
  • Rigid Rails
  • Anchors with dead weight

Different Types of Roof Edges Protection

Roof edge protection is available in many different sizes. Here are some popular choices:

1. Scaffolding

Scaffolding is one of the most common ways to prevent workers from falling. However, it shouldn’t be used as permanent roof edge protection. It is important to remember that not all roof users are construction workers. Others can be maintenance staff members or members of the public.

Traditional scaffolding is used by construction companies to access the roof. It is difficult to set up, and even more, time to take down. The scaffolding also adds an element to the untidiness of the site.

2. Fixed Roof Handrail

There are pros and cons to fixed roof handrails. Although it’s stronger than scaffolding a fixed handrail can still be installed on your roof membrane.

There are many types and styles of fixed roof edge protector systems. They all require different installation methods or materials. Handrails that are placed on roofs will need to be made from anti-corrosion materials.

Systems Where Welding May Be Required

A welded handrail requires special labor and will require considerable time to install. If they are not handled properly, welded points could become weak. Repairing or replacing sections will take time and require that the entire system be tweaked.

Systems That Attach To the Roof, Or a Parapet

A parapet usually has a fixed handrail that is either installed on the top or on both sides. This is much easier and more secure than installing a handrail on the building’s side.

Systems for Fixing the Sides of a Building

If there is no parapet along the roof edge, you can install the fixed rail onto that side. The roof must be accessed from the side to install this system.

3. Freestanding Roof Handrail

Freestanding roof handrails cannot penetrate the roof membrane. They keep it water- and fire-resistant. Installing the system on site is not necessary (i.e. welding) and will take only a few minutes.

The best roof edge protection system is one that is completely freestanding and does NOT require welding. It is easy to install and maintain. If it does need to be repaired, it can also be taken down quickly.

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