FM College ~ News & Articles

Increasing safety on the roof

May 23, 2023 | Public | 0 comments


As a maintenance manager, you need to become familiar with all the elements of your building, including your roof. Whether you need to access the roof as part of your seasonal maintenance, or you’re sending a contractor up there, there are some measures you can implement to boost safety for everyone who needs to access the roof.

Risk assessment

Start by assessing your current roof safety so you can put a plan in place to mitigate those risks. Identify locations on the roof where contractors may need easy access such as skylights, HVAC equipment, and roof penetrations. Identify potential risks, considering the proximity of equipment to the roof’s edge, frequency of required access, and the weather associated with the times of the year people might be up there. Look at risks associated with your roof’s access, too. Is there interior access? An exterior caged ladder? Is there a walkout? Each of these situations presents different potential risks, so it’s important to be specific in your assessment.

Once you have identified as many potential risks as you can, you can start to put a plan together to improve the safety on your roof.

Safety precautions

There are several precautions you can take to make access as safe as possible. Consider installing guardrails around the perimeter, personal fall-arrest systems like anchors that contractors tie into, warning lines drawing attention to the roof’s edge, and more.

Depending on where you are located, laws exist to protect people accessing your roof and, in many cases, the maintenance manager is responsible for making sure that these protocols are followed. For example, in Ontario, anyone accessing the roof is required to complete working from heights training. Consult bodies like Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA)  to stay up to date on the rules and regulations for your area.

Staff training

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, so make sure that all staff and all visitors to your roof know the policies and laws required for access. Fall protection equipment is just the start! Post the rules and create due diligence practices to ensure that your team is aware of all updated requirements, knows how to use the safety measures properly, and is aware of emergency procedures, should an emergency occur.

By conducting a thorough risk assessment, implementing the appropriate safety measures, ensuring compliance with the relevant standards, and training your team, you will have taken the steps necessary to increase the roof access safety for your building.

The post Increasing safety on the roof appeared first on REMINET.


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