Roof Fall Protection Systems

Roof Fall Protection & Fall Arrest Systems

Although some facility maintenance supervisors and their employees view fall protection systems as a nuisance that decreases worker productivity, there is no need to compromise rooftop safety in the name of efficiency. Each rooftop work environment presents different fall protection challenges, but with the proper planning, the twin goals of heightened safety and productivity are achievable.

Rigid Rail Fall Arrest System -Standing Seam Roof
Portable Guardrail With Permanently Attached Ladder Cage
Horizontal Lifeline With Rigid Posts For High Roof Pitch Application
Roof Fall Protection Systems
Roof Fall Protection Systems
Non-Penetrating Rooftop Guardrail
Rigid Rail Fall Arrest System -Standing Seam Roof
Portable Guardrail With Permanently Attached Ladder Cage
Horizontal Lifeline With Rigid Posts For High Roof Pitch Application
Roof Fall Protection Systems
Roof Fall Protection Systems
Non-Penetrating Rooftop Guardrail

By partnering with a fall protection company familiar with the unique nature of rooftop fall hazards, cost effective solutions that ensure worker safety and OSHA compliance are achievable without compromising productivity. Diversified Fall Protection offers a wide range of pre-engineered fall protection solutions such as portable guardrail and horizontal lifeline kits as well as engineered horizontal lifelines and rigid track fall protection systems to protect your personnel while keeping your facility OSHA compliant.

Remember, regardless of the frequency of access, OSHA general industry regulations require fall protection for workers performing tasks at heights of four feet or more–and this includes your roof. Leaving roof’ leading edges unprotected can have dire consequences for your company and employees. Falls are the leading cause of occupational injuries and fatalities each year, and the financial losses associated with a single incident–increased insurance and workman’s compensation premiums, legal fees, and OSHA fines–far exceed the costs of rooftop fall protection. Ensure OSHA compliance and safe roof access worker with a fall protection system from the safety experts at Diversified Fall Protection.

We are a complete turnkey provider of OSHA compliant roof fall protection systems and have years of design and installation experience. Contact us for expert assistance with your fall arrest, fall restraint and fall protection requirements.

Rooftop Fall Protection Design Considerations

For rooftop installations, DFP can design and install a variety of non-penetrating guardrail systems to prevent leaks. Regardless of location or mounting style, the top rail must be rated to withstand a force of at least 200lbs; the mid-rail must be rated at 150lbs. Guardrail systems may be powder-coated safety yellow for high visibility or utilize custom colors to match or blend into the surroundings. Single point anchors are rated at 5,000 or 10,000lbs or 2 times the applied load in the event of a fall by a qualified person. A single point anchor may be designed for single or dual tie-off as long as each user attaches to a designated D-ring. Multiple users should never tie off to the same D-ring under any circumstances. Rooftop single point anchors can be used in conjunction with a variety of deck substrates including metal standing seam, rubber membrane, or concrete. A SPA is designed to protect workers within a 30 degree conical cone; moving outside the intended coverage area increases the likelihood of coming into contact with structure below the work area in the event of a swing fall. Horizontal lifelines designated for rooftop use are typically constructed from corrosion resistant stainless steel components for maximum service life. Our fall protection safety specialists can engineer a horizontal lifeline system to accommodate the special characteristics of your rooftop, from corners to the absence of pre-existing anchor points and more. Although the horizontal lifeline system may seem simple in function and design, special care must be taken to account for the loads on various anchor points and deflection in the event of a fall. Each anchor point must be secure enough to withstand the forces associated a fall and a thorough review of the work area is needed to ensure that a worker will not strike pipes, equipment, or other surfaces when falling. Load and deflection rates are determined by a number of factors, including pre-tension of the cable, length of the area spanned by the horizontal lifeline, and the number of workers connected to the system.

OSHA Considerations

  • Guardrail
    • 1910.29(b) Guardrail systems. The employer must ensure guardrail systems meet the following requirements:
    • 1910.29(b)(1) The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking-working surface. The top edge height may exceed 45 inches (114 cm), provided the guardrail system meets all other criteria of paragraph (b) of this section (see Figure D-11 of this section).
    • 1910.29(b)(2)(i) Midrails are installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking-working surface;
    • 1910.29(b)(3) Guardrail systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in a downward or outward direction within 2 inches (5 cm) of the top edge, at any point along the top rail.
    • 1910.29(b)(4) When the 200-pound (890-N) test load is applied in a downward direction, the top rail of the guardrail system must not deflect to a height of less than 39 inches (99 cm) above the walking-working surface.
    • 1910.29(b)(5) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and other equivalent intermediate members are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 150 pounds (667 N) applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the intermediate member.
    • 1910.29(b)(6) Guardrail systems are smooth-surfaced to protect employees from injury, such as punctures or lacerations, and to prevent catching or snagging of clothing.
    • 1910.29(b)(9) Top rails and midrails are at least 0.25-inches (0.6 cm) in diameter or in thickness.

  • Horizontal Lifelines:The employer must ensure that each horizontal lifeline:
    • 1910.140(c)(11)(ii) Is designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person; and
    • 1910.140(c)(12) Is part of a complete personal fall arrest system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.
  • Single Point Anchors
    • 1910.23(a)(4) Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows:
    • 1926.502(d)(15)(i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two; and
    • 1926.502(d)(15)(ii) under the supervision of a qualified person.
  • Skylight Screens
    • 1910.23(a)(4) Every skylight floor opening and hole shall be guarded by a standard skylight screen or a fixed standard railing on all exposed sides.
    • 1910.23(e)(8) Skylight screens shall be of such construction and mounting that they are capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied perpendicularly at any one area on the screen. They shall also be of such construction and mounting that under ordinary loads or impacts, they will not deflect downward sufficiently to break the glass below them. The construction shall be of grillwork with openings not more than 4 inches long or of slatwork with openings not more than 2 inches wide with length unrestricted.
  • Vertical Lifelines and Ladder Systems
    • 1926.502(d)(9) Lanyards and vertical lifelines shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN).
    • 1926.502(d)(12) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which automatically limit free fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 pounds (13.3 kN) applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position..
    • 1926.1051(a) A stairway or ladder shall be provided at all personnel points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches (48 cm) or more, and no ramp, runway, sloped embankment, or personnel hoist is provided.
    • 1926.1053(a)(19) Where the total length of a climb equals or exceeds 24 feet (7.3 m), fixed ladders shall be equipped with one of the following:
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(i) Ladder safety devices; or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(ii) Self-retracting lifelines, and rest platforms at intervals not to exceed 150 feet (45.7 m); or
    • 1926.1053(a)(19)(iii) A cage or well, and multiple ladder sections, each ladder section not to exceed 50 feet (15.2 m) in length. Ladder sections shall be offset from adjacent sections, and landing platforms shall be provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m).
  • Warning Lines
    • 1926.502(f)(1) The warning line shall be erected around all sides of the roof work area.
    • 1926.502(f)(1)(i) When mechanical equipment is not being used, the warning line shall be erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof edge.
    • 1926.502(f)(1)(ii) When mechanical equipment is being used, the warning line shall be erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof edge which is parallel to the direction of mechanical equipment operation, and not less than 10 feet (3.1 m) from the roof edge which is perpendicular to the direction of mechanical equipment operation.
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems
    • System performance criteria. In addition to the general requirements in paragraph (c) of this section, the employer must ensure that personal fall arrest systems: 1910.140(d)(1)(i)
    • Limit the maximum arresting force on the employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN); 1910.140(d)(1)(ii)
    • Bring the employee to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance the employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.1 m); 1910.140(d)(1)(iii)
    • Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of the employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), or the free fall distance permitted by the system; and... 1910.140(d)(1)(iv)
    • Sustain the employee within the system/strap configuration without making contact with the employee's neck and chin area. 1910.140(d)(1)(v)
  If the personal fall arrest system meets the criteria and protocols in appendix D of this subpart, and is being used by an employee having a combined body and tool weight of less than 310 pounds (140 kg), the system is considered to be in compliance with the provisions of paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. If the system is used by an employee having a combined body and tool weight of 310 pounds (140kg) or more and the employer has appropriately modified the criteria and protocols in appendix D, then the system will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iii). 1910.140(d)(2)   The employer must ensure that:
  • On any horizontal lifeline that may become a vertical lifeline, the device used to connect to the horizontal lifeline is capable of locking in both directions on the lifeline. 1910.140(d)(2)(ii)
  • Personal fall arrest systems are rigged in such a manner that the employee cannot free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 m) or contact a lower level. A free fall may be more than 6 feet (1.8 m) provided the employer can demonstrate the manufacturer designed the system to allow a free fall of more than 6 feet and tested the system to ensure a maximum arresting force of 1,800 pounds (8 kN) is not exceeded. 1910.140(d)(3)
  • Body belts. Body belts are prohibited as part of a personal fall arrest system.

Did You Know?

Anytime that work is being performed on a roof that has a pitch of 4:12 or higher, fall protection must be used at all times?