Tips For Roof Accessibility, Damage Prevention, And Worker Safety
Roof traffic increases the risk of roof damage. Friction from footwear and the weight of workers can damage the roof. Working on the roof is also dangerous due to the risk of falling. However, roofers or equipment workers still need to access the roof. Read on to learn some tips for facilitating roof access and traffic without damaging the roof or suffering worker injuries.
PROVIDE GOOD ACCESS ROUTES
Anyone who needs to go up the roof should have reliable and safe access routes. Some examples of such access routes include the following:
1. ROOF HATCH
A roof hatch is a door that opens directly onto the roof. Service personnel or roofing contractors access the roof hatch via ladders or stairs. Workers can also bring materials and equipment onto the roof via the hatches.
2. ACCESS PLATFORMS
Roof access platforms provide elevated workspaces for rooftop workers. Workers typically access the platforms via attached ladders or staircases. Elevated platforms are useful for those who need to work on elevated rooftop installations. That way, the workers do not have to use temporary ladders or work while standing on the roof covering.
INSTALL ELEVATED WALKWAYS
Foot traffic increases wear and tear on the roof. For example, the friction between shoes and the roof’s covering can wear the material, puncture membranes, or scratch the coating. The weight of the service personnel can also dent some sections of the roof. The specific damage will depend on the roofing material.
Install elevated walkways to protect your roof covering. Anyone working on the roof should then stick to the walkways as much as possible. That will eliminate foot traffic on the roof covering and distribute the weight of workers across the surface.
PLACE EQUIPMENT NEAR WALKWAYS
Rooftop equipment should be as close to the elevated walkways as possible. For example, HVAC units and communication equipment should be within reach of the walkways. That way, service personnel do not have to wander off the walkways to reach the equipment. The walkway materials should be more resistant to foot traffic damage than other roof areas.
You should also consider the safety of the workers who will repair the roof, repair rooftop equipment, or install things on the roof. Check out these two safety installations to protect your workers:
All your walkways should feature handrails at convenient heights. Rooftop workers can use the handrails as support while using the walkways. The handrails also prevent falls if someone loses their balance.
Most rooftop equipment, such as HVAC units, requires pipes or cables. The pipes or cables can trip workers and cause injuries and damages. Crossover ramps allow workers to cross over such pipes or cables without the risk of tripping.
ALLOW ADEQUATE EDGE CLEARANCES
Install your rooftop equipment away from the roof’s edges. That way, service personnel will not have to work too close to the roof’s edges. Working too close to the roof’s edges increases the risk of fall accidents. Adequate edge clearances also eliminate the temptation of working on equipment while standing on a ladder.
ALWAYS USE PROFESSIONALS
Lastly, you should always use professional personnel for maintenance, repair, or installation on the roof. For example, you should use professional roofing contractors for all your roof-covering repairs. You should use professional HVAC contractors for work on rooftop units. Professionals know how to access, walk on, and work on the roof with minimum damage and risk.
Commercial Solutions, Inc. provides commercial roofing solutions in North Carolina. We have years of experience with different roofing systems. We promise not to cause any damage to your roof while working on it. Contact us for roof installations, repairs, or renovations and enjoy our professional services.