The Anatomy of a Custom Roof Hatch Railing System
In Safe Roof Series (Part 4): Roof Hatches we defined in general what a roof hatch railing system is as well as a brief history of them. We now will expand on the hatch railing description by discussing some of the features of a non-standard system.
Did You Know There are More Than 80 Different Roof Hatch Types?
CentiMark’s roof hatch railing supplier, Safety Rail Source, has designed more than 80 different models of roof hatch railings. This was a surprise when only six models were originally expected in 1999. All roof hatches are not alike, nor are their installations and rooftop placements the same. Some hatches open into a wall or obstruction. Believe it or not, some open to the roof edge. Some are for use by people, some are merely used to raise and lower equipment to the roof. There are steel and aluminum models, some galvanized, some painted.
Example of a Roof Hatch Needing a Custom Railing (see image to left)
This example roof hatch is accessed by a stairway that is mounted on the short side of the hatchway. There was a severe step-out hazard as one exited the hatch onto the roof. Additionally, there is a water heater partially obstructing the side exit.
What the Custom Railing Design Accomplished
Safety Rail Source designed a railing system to force a right exit at the top of the stairway so to avoid the step-out hazard. Also, a corner return was added to attach a self-closing gate so not to be obstructed by the water heater at the side exit.
Self-Closing Gate Feature with Adjustable Torsion
You’ll see a gate at the railing exit. Roof hatch railings were originally provided with a chain to block off the access opening. Later it was determined the OSHA Standard requires a gate, the chain being a minor violation. This particular gate has a torsion spring in the hinge mechanism that can be adjusted with a wrench to assure 100% closure with each use.
Aluminum Construction With Special Fittings
The KeeHatch Mightylight railing displayed is made of lightweight aluminum weighing about 38 pounds. Unique drop-in fittings on the posts facilitate fast and easy installation of top and mid rails. A wrap-around corner bracket offers the required strength to the entire railing system and reduces the opening to a required maximum of 36”. A FastClip “U” shaped fastener with a pressed-in backer nut facilitates easy installation of the base brackets to the hatch counter flashing.
Not all Hatchways are the Same!
With CentiMark as the installer and Safety Rail Source as the manufacturer we can help to assure that your railing system is properly installed and meets all applicable OSHA Standards and building codes. 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.