Roof safety is covered on this green roof in Penticton, BC

Roof safety is covered on this green roof in Penticton, BC

Safe access for maintenance is assured thanks to a full perimeter of non-penetrating safety railing


With the growing popularity of green roofs all across Canada, roof safety during regular maintenance will be a concern for many. Fortunately, there is a solution that is simple to deploy, cost effective and that doesn’t involve wearing a harness when visiting the roof: non-penetrating roof safety railing. Discover why this state-of-the-art education centre in Penticton, BC chose it for their safety. Another successful project by our partner KN Fall Protection Services.


Why is roof safety important on a green roof?


Whether it’s for the numerous ecological benefits for choosing a green roof or because this area will be used for gardening and food production, chances are that visits on your green roof may be frequent. Removing weeds or replacing dead plants, checking drainage outlets and the roofing membrane are all tasks that will need to be taken care of. Since the green roof coverage will likely extend all the way to the edge, workers visiting the roof will constantly be at risk of falling. As the building owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all work done on your roof can be done safely.


Why is roof safety railing ideal for green roofs safety?


Fall protection should be taken into consideration during the design of a green roof. It’s at this stage that a roof safety railing system should be specified. This type of system has many advantages specific to green roofs:

  • A collective fall protection: a safety railing perimeter will protect everyone on the roof, at any time of the day or night, without the need for personal fall protection equipment (harness, lanyard). When choosing a personal fall protection system, you surrender the responsibility of the safety on your building to the visitor of your roof and you place a considerable administrative burden on yourself (yearly inspection of anchor points, harness, lanyard, training log, etc.). At the end of the day, the work is not done safely if the people on the roof are not equipped and trained properly.
  • No anchoring in the roof membrane: a roof safety railing system uses counterweights to create the capacity required to meet the National Building Code (NBC) standard. Absolutely no anchoring or perforation are required in the roof membrane. Considering that a green roof is made of many layers on top of the standard waterproofing membrane, avoiding any perforation is the best. Since a green roof is designed to hold water (one on its main feature), any perforation of the membrane may increase the risk of water infiltration. Also, identifying the puncture and fixing it will be a difficult and delicate process.

Roof safety railing in the green roof in BC: an aesthetic choice


While it’s natural to think that the green roof would be prettier without a safety railing perimeter, it’s important to keep the priority in check: roof safety should come before. That said, roof safety railing can be designed to match the aesthetic feature of the building, like it’s the case for this state-of-the-art education facility in Penticton, BC. The safety railing perimeter was designed to follow the design of the building and was ordered in anodized black finish from the factory, for ultimate durability. The result is stunning and can certainly be categorized as an architectural feature and not only a fall protection improvement.


Are you in the design phase of a green roof? Connect with our team and we’ll help you design the right safety guardrail perimeter for your building anywhere in Canada. Click here to start!