Conducting a Rooftop Safety Audit

The goals of this rooftop safety audit are to ensure that the high risk areas are inspected, and that risks are reduced to you and your employees that access the roof.

Rooftop Access

Three things to consider when accessing a roof; are they safe, secure, and simple to navigate? Some simple questions to ask when inspecting a roof are:

  • How are people accessing the roof?
  • Is the area properly lit?
  • Is there metalwork in place?
  • Is it properly maintained and free of obstructions?

Unprotected Roof Edges & Open Sides

Once the access points have been addressed, it is time to focus on entry points and unprotected edges. Here are some specific examples of unsafe entry points:

  • Roof hatch is 3′ away from the leading edge, with hatch opening to leading edge
  • Parapet is less than 39’′, or there is no parapet
  • No railing on either side of ladder access points
  • Ladder does not have a self-closing gate

Rooftop Walkways

After safely getting on top of a roof, ensure that walkways to areas needing service or access are secure, safe and simple to navigate. How do they get to where they need to be? Potential hazards on rooftop walkways are:

  • Standing Seam Metal roofs or Metal Profile roofs do not always have level walkways to avoid trip hazards
  • Limiting access to hazardous areas on a roof with possible warning lines or guardrails
  • Is this the best and safest path to where the workers need to be?
  • Make sure skylight openings are covered to prevent accidental falls

Equipment on the Roof

If a worker requires equipment on top of the roof as part of the service or maintenance they are providing is that equipment near the roof edge? The IBC requires a railing for equipment that is located within 10′ of a fall hazard. OSHA recommends railing if the equipment is within 15′ of the fall hazard, in addition to a safety plan in place.

Keep in Mind

In addition to the proper safety training, making sure there is a fall protection plan in place is just as important. Are all employees educated and trained with regards to the equipment and plan? There is a component of common sense involved with rooftop safety. If it looks or feels unsafe, it probably is. Bring attention to the issue. This can prevent injury and save lives.

Want More?

Our fall protection specialists are available to work through a rooftop safety audit with you at no charge. Let the experts make sure your current fall protection is compliant and the safest option available. Click here to schedule your analysis.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

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