Skylights: Why You Absolutely Need the Right Protection
Protection from the elements at height is a safety standard for workers in the construction industry, of course, but it’s also an element that helps ensure the safety of anyone who may have access to a skylight, a patio, a staircase, or a mezzanine. The right skylight protection is important for several reasons:
Securing your job sites
Any company that has to make people work on a roof must provide a secure working environment to its employees. To do this, around skylights on any type of roof, it’s necessary to prevent any risk of falling due to the stability or fragility of this element by installing a guardrail suited to skylights. By opting for a guardrail that complies with all the official standards, you’ll also be ensuring high adhesion to the ground while avoiding damaging your customers’ roof thanks to a self-supporting system that can be installed quickly and easily. A self-supporting element lets you save money by acting as the same guardrail on several job sites to be secured. When choosing your skylight guardrail, make sure to also choose an element that is resistant to the deteriorations that rain and temperature changes can cause, because some skylight protection elements that are not manufactured in Québec or Canada, for example, may be made with materials that are not suited to the extreme weather variations in our part of the world.
Compliance with legal standards
Because falls from a height are common and very dangerous in the workplace, and especially in the construction industry, the law in Québec and Canada has zero tolerance when it comes to measures not taken to ensure the safety of workers at height. In the event of non-compliance with the rules, the CNESST, which is responsible for monitoring, is entitled to stop any work and prosecute the offenders. Québec law stipulates that:
- When workers are exposed to a risk of falling from more than 3 metres, the employer must: install guardrails to prevent the fall or use another means to ensure equivalent safety. If this is not possible, ensure that workers use a harness connected to an anchor point provided for this purpose (Articles 2.9.1 and 2.9.2 of the CSTC, Articles 9, 10, 33 , and 346 of the RSST, Articles 4 and 51 of the RSSM, Article 51 of the LSST).
Creating a skylight
A skylight is a type of large, flat window generally located on the roof or façade of a building that helps provide a great source of natural light to rooms that don’t have access to natural light from standard windows. Created by construction professionals, especially masons, well-placed skylights also allow for significant energy savings by replacing sources of artificial light without involving electricity or fuel consumption. Each skylight construction project is generally unique and must therefore be carried out by professionals who are conscientious of your needs as well as the constraints in terms of safety or that the features of your building involve. So take care to rely on professionals whose expertise will allow you to have peace of mind regarding the proper functioning of the job site and the effects of your skylight.
Do you have a fall protection project? You can contact us at any time!