Freestanding guardrails

Rooftop guard rail: how to start?

Socially responsible companies are aware that they must take responsibility for the safety of their facilities. From the warehouse to the roof, working environments must be safe against all kinds of risks, including falls from heights. Rooftop guard rail is the ideal way to eliminate the risk of falling from the roof quickly and permanently. Here’s how to get started!


Rooftop Guard Rail: Determine Your Need for Protection

The first step in a rooftop guard rail installation project is to determine where the protection needs are. The analysis should take into account the following:

  • Roof access point: ladders, hatches, stairs, etc.
  • Mechanical units that must be serviced frequently
  • Passage between the different sections of the roof

Rooftop guard rail are versatile fall protection equipment that adapt to all situations on the majority of flat roofs. An analysis of maintenance operations is therefore a good starting point for understanding the work that is being done on the roof and the natural traffic paths. It will therefore be easier to determine where to install the rooftop guard rail.


Rooftop Guard Rail: Identify the Falling Hazards


To fully understand where to install rooftop guard rail, you must identify the falling hazards. According to most OHS standards, a worker exposed to a risk of falling of 3 m (10’) should be protected. In general, the roof edge of industrial or commercial buildings meets this criterion. But we must go further:

  • Is there another roof level on the main roof?
  • Is there a difference in height between the roof areas?
  • Are there skylights?

In some cases, there may even be a considerable height difference between two roof areas, but still less than 10’. Although protection is not required here, an analysis of the flow between these two sectors and the company’s desire to go beyond the standards will determine whether or not it is appropriate to install rooftop guard rail in this area.


Rooftop guard rail: Determining the Best Solution

We are now ready to define the section of rooftop guard rail that will be needed. For a mechanical unit at the edge of the roof, the length of the rooftop guard rail section represents the length of the unit plus an additional 4’ to 6’ on each side to define a safe perimeter.

To adapt to all situations, two rooftop guard rail configurations are available:

  • VSS Classic: rooftop guard rail with counterweights offset towards the centre of the roof. Ideal for long straights or access ladder protection.
  • VSS Compact: rooftop guard rail where counterweights are directly under the vertical post to free up as much floor space as possible. 5 ‘returns are required at both ends.


Do you have falling hazards that you would like to analyze and correct?


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