Occupational Safety and Health
There is nothing more important than safety especially when dealing with construction. Congress created OSHA otherwise known as Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ensure safe working conditions for all workers by setting and enforcing standards and provide training, outreach, education and assistance.
If workers need to access the roof of a commercial building, it is a requirement that walkway systems be installed. Rooftop walkways need to have the strength and structural integrity to support employees. Guardrails or safety nets need to be installed to protect any employee from falling. The only exception for not installing a guardrail is if an employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible or that it creates a greater hazard to use. In that case, the employer will then need to develop and implement a fall protection plan to be approved by OSHA.
Benificial for the Roof
Even though it is required to install a walkway system to protect employee safety, this equipment also protects the surface of the roof. On a flat roof constant foot traffic can cause wear and tear on the surface. The roof may begin to slope or worse crakes or holes can begin to develop. Harmful stress on a roof can begin to develop seam distortion also known as dishing.
Roof walkways are built to last. Constructed with galvanized steel or an aluminum finish allows these structures to be weather resistant. Since it is made out of metal rather than wood, these structures will not rot or disintegrate. They are also designed so that water will not get trapped between the roof and the roof walkway causing leaks. Walkways are installed tall so that it will not disappear if snow accumulates on the roof.
Stairs and Crossovers
Several commercial buildings have an upper and lower level. Even if it is only a few feet to access the other one it violates OSHA requirements to climb from one to the other. Stairs or ramps can be easily installed to allow access without violating any regulations. On some roofs there are piping, ducting, and other equipment that prevents workers from getting from one area of the roof to the next. Crossovers or ramps will allow employees to get around these obstacles easily without injuring themselves or causing damage to the roof.
Installation is quick and easy and completely safe on the roof. Walkway systems are installed directly without roof penetrations, flashings, or damage to the roofing material. No matter the type or design of the roof, these structures are compatible with all rooftops.
Staff writer for PHP Systems/Design.