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Rooftop fall protection

Rooftop fall protection

Rooftop fall protection is a set of methods and devices reducing the risk of a fall from the roof. Works done on both flat and inclined roofs should be secured using anchorage points, safety ropes, fall protection systems using steel lines or rigid guideway in the form of a rail.

Rooftop fall protection is it really necessary?

Nowadays providing safety doing work on said object is a responsibility of every designer, construction manager, investor or building administrator. From one year to another in Poland we notice lower and lower accident rate. It is caused by increase in awareness among employers and employees in OHS field and by using cutting-edge technology to increase safety during various jobs. One of many dangers, where innovative solutions are used is rooftop fall protection. You need to remember that every roof that is not surrounded by attic wall of at least 1,5m heigh is a zone where people are in danger of falling from a height. Keeping in mind how often such accident can cause serious damage or even death, every effort must be made to minimalize its occurrence. On rooftop surface it is necessary to secure both the edges and all holes and devices creating danger zones for workers.

Rooftop fall protection – types

Means of collective protection serve to remove rooftop from a zone where people are in danger of a fall from a height. To this group we can certainly include guardrails. Broad spectrum of materials that can be used during their construction and finishing can significantly increase the aesthetic values of such element. Often as far back as during the design process they are planned as indispensable part of the objects architecture. Protective railing can be designed also in a free-standing from. Such solution allows for possible movement of the whole system and it doesn’t require permanent fasting to buildings structure. Alternative way of protecting rooftop against a fall from a height is using permanent fall protection systems, that work in tandem with personal protection equipment connected to them. Depending of the characteristic of foreseen work done on roof, one of many different type of such protection can be used. During process of choosing and designing particular solution you must always consult with a company specializing in this field. Currently the most often used fall protection system used are point and line permanent systems. Fundamental difference in their structure is continuity of anchorage. In the case of point solution e.g. AS-FLAT200 we have to deal with anchoring poles spread around the object in a way to secure every endangered zone. To keep continuity in anchorage user must connect from one point to the next which can be problematic during work requiring constant movement. In these cases it is advised to use line solutions such as AS-LINEX or AS-LINEPRO. Thanks to using steel rope spread across the whole length of the rooftop fall protection system we eliminate the requirement to switch between poles we are connected to. Freedom of movement provided in this case can prove crucial for execution time and quality which directly translates to safety of users during work.

Anchorage points

Permanent protection devices and rooftop fall protection systems are designed and installed by professionals. They are secure because they are constructed in accordance with the required durability and are suited to cooperate with personal protection equipment. If these kind of rooftop fall protection system is installed it must be used. You cannot waste time to choose building construction elements suitable for connection with personal protection equipment and afford risking a wrong choice. Unfortunately we don’t always have a luxury of using permanent rooftop fall protection systems. If we are made to use construction elements as a anchorage points we need to see the difference in static and dynamic interactions on said point and we need to have awareness that each said element must posses certain: durability, stability and placement. Taking this three parameters into consideration is a responsibility of all users of fall protection equipment and requires proper training.

Using rooftop fall protection

Permanent rooftop fall protection systems in tandem with personal protection equipment create complete system protecting against fall from a height. Keep in mind that each element of such set must meet certain requirements. Aiming to provide safety to users we present main rules you need to abide during using permanent fall protection system:

  • If there is a possibility, use permanent systems protecting against fall from a height.
  • Make sure such system has current periodic technical inspection.
  • Control technical condition of the system and personal equipment before each use.
  • Take care of proper connection od personal protection equipment to fall protection system.
  • Keep in mid that permanent system in deflected during a fall which leads to increased total way of falling.
  • Take care of correct exploitation of protection systems and their constant usefulness.