Tech Talk Blog

Rooftop Guardrail vs. Horizontal Lifelines–What’s The Best Option?

Last month, we did a post titled “Why A Horizontal Lifeline May Be The Wrong Solution.”  The teaser title was click bait, but if you took the time to read the article, you came away with a simple explanation:  horizontal lifelines aren’t appropriate for low fall clearance applications where the worker can impact the ground before the system arrests the fall.  This month, we’ll compare and contrast two common solutions for rooftop applications–guardrail and horizontal lifelines.

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Custom Color Rooftop Guardrail

Henry Ford once said “You can buy a Model T in any color as long as it is black.”  If you have spent time searching online or consulting catalogs, you may assume Ford’s rule applies to guardrail too because most of the guardrail you’ll see is safety yellow.  Don’t get us wrong–yellow guardrail is highly visible and a good way to remind folks that a leading edge is near.  That said, there are times when a perimeter railing system needs to blend with a building. Whether you prefer guardrail that matches company colors or the goal is concealing the fall protection system from the ground level, we can help.

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Comparing Portable Guardrail Systems

base plate tileOther than price, what is the main difference between the portable guardrail offered by competing manufacturers?  After all, most non-penetrating rooftop guardrail consists of yellow, metal railing sections that are secured by a heavy bases resting on the roof surface.  Although portable guardrail systems may look very similar, the main differentiating factor comes where one might least expect it—base plate design.

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Non-Penetrating Rooftop Guardrail Installation

When it comes to rooftop fall protection installations, we hear common concerns.  Clients want reassurances that the proposed solution is in alignment with available budgets and meets or exceeds OSHA requirements.  We also field questions and concerns over roof modifications.  Drilling holes or cutting to expose structural members beneath the roof’s surface is an especially sensitive subject because many of our clients have hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars invested in their roofs.  Fortunately, we have a wide variety of rooftop fall protection solutions to address these pains.

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Rooftop Fall Protection Options

The rooftop maintenance season is now in full swing.  In the eyes of OSHA, your building’s roof is a raised work platform of four feet or more, and as such, all of the unprotected leading edges pose fall hazards.  That said, every rooftop is unique.  The “ideal” rooftop fall protection system installed next door may not suit your specific needs due to differing maintenance requirements.  This post offers a brief introduction to common rooftop fall protection solutions and their many uses.

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Introduction to Commercial Roofing Materials and Installing Fall Protection Systems While Minimizing Leaks

When it comes to exploring rooftop fall protection options, the first item of consideration is the roof itself.  Your fall protection company will want to know if you have a steep or flat roof and the nature of the roofing materials.  If you don’t know the answers to these questions, the engineer charged with performing the site assessment can make these determinations using a supplied picture or when they arrive to assess the fall hazard; however, the ability to describe your roof in an email or phone call always gives your safety engineer a head start.  Let’s take a closer look at the styles of commercial roofs and the challenges they pose during the installation of fall protection systems.

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Did You Know?

In 2015, Fall Protection was ranked number one as the most frequently cited OSHA standards violation?