Duty to have fall protection is often overlooked, post construction, for future maintenance and repairs. This could be due to a number of factors such as, lack of planning or budgetary reasons. Lets look at a few reasons to have a permanent fall protection system installed will benefit you and what kind of options are out there.
Reasons to have a permanent fall protection system on your building.
- Provides safety while your employees or outside contractors access elevated roof areas.
- Saves you money on maintenance or repairs bills for work done on elevated areas. This is due to the fact that anyone performing work, where fall protection is needed, won’t have to spend time setting up temporary fall protection.
- The exposure to risk while setting up a temporary fall protection system before work is eliminated.
Permanent fall protection systems.
In general there’s two popular systems available.
Permanent Horizontal Lifeline systems are easily adapted for use on the roof for many fall protection needs. Capitalizing on the strength and long life of steel cable and advances in the technology of load management, permanent horizontal lifeline systems preserves structural integrity and prevents damage from dynamic loads over long spans. Still requires use of a harness and lanyard with connections.
2. Guard Rail
This is a non-penetrating fall safety guardrail system that ensures workers are protected with no damage to the roof membrane, and can help you get into OSHA compliance when a passive fall protection system is required. Penetrating versions are also available. No harness or any other additional fall protection equipment is required when this system is set up properly.
So which is better for you?
This depends a lot on your roof systems, layout, slope and composition. There are other available systems that a qualified roofing contractor can guide you through, but these are the most common. Fall Protection is not an option, while it might not make sense in the short term, in the long run you should see a savings on your service bills and protect the lives of anyone who accesses your roof.