Safe Roof Series (Part 2): Skylight Fall Protection
A major rooftop concern today is protecting skylights to prevent falls.
People fall through skylights daily throughout the country. Did you know that OSHA Standards (29 CFR 1910.23 and 29 CFR 1910.66 (a)(4)) require that all skylights be protected by compliant screens or railings? To be OSHA compliant, skylight screens must pass a 200-pound load test for most of the USA and a 400-pound force for CAL OSHA Standards. For product quality and load tested systems, CentiMark installs Safety Rail Source top quality skylight screens and railings.
You may ask, why do people fall through skylights? Here’s why and what you should never do:
- They sit on them
- They trip into them
- They slip and fall into them
- They back into them
- They walk on them in the case of flat skylights
- They lean over them to look inside
Many skylight manufacturers promote OSHA compliant skylight lenses. However, do you know that UV light changes the molecular structure of skylight lenses over time? Lense material that is compliant today can be effected by the sun and may become brittle over time.
Skylight accidents can happen fast and can be deadly. Protect your skylights and your employees before it’s too late!
There are many types of skylights (domed, standing seam, corrugated, trapezoidal, smoke vent), therefore there are many types of skylight fall protection products such as screens, railings and bars. With assistance from CentiMark and Safety Rail Source, we’ll help you decide on the right safety solution for your skylights, and accurately and safely perform the installation.
Preventing accidental falls with Skylight screens
Skylight screens may help to prevent accidental falls. Some screens clamp onto the skylights and do not penetrate the roofing membrane. Others screens use screws that fasten into the skylights. Some screens transfer a fall load to the roof. Skylight fall protection screens are galvanized or stainless steel.
Skylight railing systems
Skylight railings may be required when the skylights are too large or when screens are an unwanted sight below. Some railing systems are freestanding and some are designed to penetrate the roof and tie into the building structure. With weighted base type railings, the railings are galvanized and the bases are recycled “green” PVC.
Additional building protection with skylight bars
Skylight bars are occasionally installed below the skylight lense to prevent unwanted building entry from the roof, as in attempted theft. These skylight bars may prevent a fall however, are not OSHA compliant. If a person falls into the lense and it shatters, the lense fragments could cause serious injury to people below or the person falling into the skylight. Only a screen that does not deflect to the skylight lense or an OSHA compliant railing system meets the standards of protection.
Our CentiMark roofing specialists have experience in proper and safe installation of all types of skylight fall protection.
Click here to learn more about CentiMark’s Safety Program: http://www.centimark.com/roof-systems/safety
Please watch for our continuing Safe Roof Series to learn more about OSHA requirements, rooftop fall protection products and the best product options to keep your roof safe.
Examples of skylight fall protection: