Establishing a Safety Line: A Mini-Guide to the Best Practices


Because it’s better to be safe than sorry, and because the law stipulates a protection obligation, here’s our mini-guide to the best practices regarding safety lines on a roof. Indeed, establishing a safety line is your responsibility; that’s why we help you make the right choice when it comes to anticipating the risks of falls.

To know, first and foremost

According to the Safety Code for the Construction Industry (SCCI), any building over 3 metres (10’) high where maintenance on the roof is required less than 2 metres from the edge of the roof must have fall protection.


According to Section 2.9.2 of the SCCI, the collective protection method to be privileged against falls is the guardrail. Around an access ladder to the roof, an access hatch, an air conditioning unit, and all the way around the roof, the guardrail is therefore of great importance, since it lets you protect any person from potential danger and retain bodies and objects that would be likely to fall.

Self-supporting guardrails

According to the criteria of Delta Prévention, a company operating in the manufacturing sector for over 25 years, it’s permissible to use self-supporting guardrails to protect your employees who work on a construction site at heights. Besides offering a maximum safety level, a self-supporting guardrail offers the following advantages for a company:

  • No risk of perforating the roof membrane.
  • A self-supporting guardrail can be installed either temporarily or permanently and sustainably even though it remains modular based on your needs.
  • Possibility of moving and removing the guardrail quickly and at any time, which facilitates movements and changes before, during, and after a project.
  • Offers recognized collective protection that doesn’t involve any restriction of movement and is therefore truly adapted to the conditions of a construction site.
  • It’s a pre-certified protection system (Delta Prévention’s self-supporting guardrails are entirely manufactured in Québec).
  • It complies with the applicable standards in Canada and the United States, which allows Canadian companies to use a single protection method for all their work in both countries.

Permanent warning lines

For maximal framing that will ensure your safety and that of your employees on a roof, you can add a permanent warning line to a guardrail. While a guardrail actually prevents any risk of falling, a warning line is a visual addition that delimits the safety line to be respected.

The main advantages of a Delta Prévention warning line are that it’s self-supporting and 100% guaranteed to be without perforation, much like a guardrail. In addition, it’s also scalable – that is to say, it can be transformed into a guardrail at any time to protect a roof according to the applicable standards, and at a low cost. Even though they’re certified compliant with the standards of OSHA 1926.502(f) and Section of the SCCI, they must be installed correctly to remain safe. A warning line must therefore be:

  • made of a rigid strip, a cable or a chain equipped with flags made of high-visibility materials;
  • attached to each stanchion so that pushing on the line between 2 stanchions does not reduce the height of the line between adjacent stanchions by an equivalent amount;
  • continuous and installed on all sides of the work area that it delimits;
  • placed at a distance of 2 m or more from any place where a worker may fall from a height of more than 3 m.
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