Working at height poses significant risks, making it crucial to prioritise safety measures. Rooftop work requires a holistic approach to ensure the individuals' well-being. This review examines key considerations for rooftop safety, including planning, supervision, competency, the hierarchy of control, and specific safety solutions such as Kee Guard and Kee Dome.
Statistics reveal the seriousness of falls from height incidents, with an average of 35 fatalities per year in the UK alone. While the numbers are gradually decreasing, it remains one of the leading causes of fatalities and major injuries in the workplace. Understanding these risks underscores the importance of implementing effective rooftop safety measures.
The foundation of rooftop safety lies in meticulous planning. Employers and those in control of work at height activities must prioritise proper planning. This involves addressing essential questions: Which areas of the roof require access? Are the routes free from hazards? Are there additional hazards present at the work location? It is crucial to identify and mitigate potential risks before commencing any work at height activity.
Supervision for Enhanced Safety
In addition to planning, effective supervision is a legal requirement for work at height activities. While there is no specific minimum number of workers required for safe work at height, it is highly advisable to have a competent supervisor nearby. This ensures prompt response in case of emergencies and prevents potential risks associated with working at height alone.
Competency and Training
Competent personnel should be responsible for planning and supervising rooftop safety. Determining competency requires individuals to possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to the task at hand. In cases where training is provided, it should be conducted under the supervision of a competent person.
Hierarchy of Control for Falls Prevention
Falls from height pose significant risks, and the hierarchy of control forms the backbone of work at height regulations. The hierarchy entails three levels of control:
Avoid: Whenever possible, work at height should be avoided by bringing tasks to ground level. This eliminates the need for individuals to work at height, minimizing associated risks.
Prevent: If work at height cannot be avoided, preventive measures should be implemented. These may include installing guardrails and other safety equipment to prevent falls from occurring.
Minimise: In situations where work at height is unavoidable, and preventive measures are not feasible, systems should be in place to minimize the risk of injury in the event of a fall. Restraint systems, for example, can restrict access to dangerous areas.
Rooftop Safety Solutions
To ensure safe rooftop work, a range of safety solutions are available. Notably, Kee Guard and Kee Dome offer effective measures for rooftop edge protection and fall prevention.
This industry-leading rooftop edge protection solution is suitable for most flat roofs with up to a 10° slope. Its non-penetrating design preserves the roof's integrity and eliminates the risk of leaks and damage. Utilising a series of counterbalanced weights, Kee Guard provides comprehensive edge protection for workers.
Kee Guard for narrow spaces
In areas with limited space, Kee Guard offers KeeGuard Premium, an innovative guardrail edge protection solution. Its compact design eliminates the need for offset counterbalances, allowing maximum space-saving while ensuring worker safety.
Kee Dome is a free-standing fall protection system designed specifically for roof lights, skylights, dome lights, and ventilation points. It enables unobstructed access to these areas without workers having to directly access the roof. Kee Klamp corner fittings and adjustable clamping rings ensure secure attachment without compromising the roof's surface.
Implementation of Rooftop Safety
By identifying potential hazards and implementing collective fall protection systems, rooftop safety can be ensured. These measures safeguard workers during roof access and work activities, providing continuous protection.
Working at height, particularly on rooftops, demands a thorough commitment to safety. By adhering to comprehensive planning, effective supervision, competency requirements, and the hierarchy of control, the risks associated with rooftop work can be significantly reduced. Implementing appropriate safety solutions like Kee Guard and Kee Dome further enhances rooftop safety. With these measures in place, individuals working at height can perform their tasks with confidence and security.