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Permanent Guard Rail Systems For High Pitch Roofs

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Guardrail on sloped metal roof

Fixed guard rail system with toe boards and roof attachments on a 12/12 (45 degree) sloped roof

We occasionally receive requests for fall protection guard rail systems to be used on sloped roofs. Our permanent guard rail system can be customized for many applications, and we’ve used it on roofs with a surprising degree of slope (or pitch).

For roofs with very minor slope, our non-penetrating Portable Guard Rail system can be used as is. This will work for roofs with a slope of  0 to 1 (or 1/12 — for every 12 feet of horizontal length, the roof rises vertically 1 foot, for a slope angle of 4.76 degrees).

For roofs with a slope of 1-2, we recommend a customized, fixed guard rail. These permanent guard rails have angled posts to keep the rails vertical, are drilled into the roof to prevent the rail from slipping or tipping, and have a toe board (or “toe rail”). OSHA requires a 3″ toe board on flat roofs whenever there is a possibility of tools being kicked off the roof and onto people below. For permanent guard rails for use on a sloped roof, we use an 8″ high toe board that is strong enough to withstand the impact of a sliding body.

For roofs with a pitch between 2 and 4, most fall protection companies recommend a fall protection tie-off system. OSHA regulations require a tie-off system for all roofs with a slope of 4/12 and greater.

We have, however, created permanent guard rail systems for slopes much steeper than 4/12. In one unique example  (shown here), an older building with a pitch of 12/12, or 45 degrees, a tie-off system was not practical. There was an unusual amount of equipment on the roof and limited installation options, and the owner felt that a tie-off system would make it difficult to maneuver around the machinery. He asked for a guard rail around the edge of the roof so that workers could access equipment by travelling around the eaves.

We have over 30 years of experience designing and installing fall protection guard rail systems and have the customization capability to accommodate all your application needs. We are a single source, turnkey provider committed to keeping your workers safe and your facility compliant. To learn more about customized fall protection guard rail systems for all types of roofs and applications, or to request a quote, contact us for more information.

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Did You Know?

Any fall protection anchor must be independent of any anchorage used to support or suspend platforms?