OSHA Walking Working Surfaces – Low Sloped Roof Fall Protection

OSHA Walking Working Surfaces Standard – Low Sloped Roof Fall Protection Defined

“Low-Sloped Roof” is a term that OSHA felt it needed to be defined in its Walking Working Surfaces update published November 18, 2016.  A low-sloped roof is defined as a slope equal or less than a ratio of 4 to 12.  Slope is calculated by rise over run, thus a low-sloped roof is a roof where for every 12 units (inches, feet, or meters) measured horizontally (Run), the roof does not increase or decrease by more than 4 units vertically (Rise).

While most in the industry refers to low-sloped roofs as flat roofs, flat roofs almost always have some degree of slope to allow for drainage and prevent pooling of precipitation.  OSHA felt that the term “low-sloped roof” more accurately defines a roof layout, eliminates confusion, and is better suited for use as a general term.

General Industry Low Sloped Roof Fall Protection

Although, not all fall protection is created equal and there is a hierarchy of fall protection, there are requirements that must be adhered to for low sloped roofs depending on the distance from the roof or leading edge.

6 feet or less from leading edge, acceptable forms of fall protection are:

  • Guardrails
  • Nets
  • Personal Fall Arrest System or Personal Fall Restraint System

 

6 feet to less than 15 feet from leading edge, acceptable forms of fall protection are:

 

15 feet or more from the leading edge, acceptable forms of fall protection are:

  • Guardrails
  • Nets
  • Personal Fall Arrest System or Personal Fall Restraint System
  • Designated area warning line
  • If work within 15’ of the roof edge if both infrequent and temporary, an employer is not required to provide any fall protection if the employer implements, documents, and enforces a work rule prohibiting employees from going within 15’ of edge without using fall protection.

 

If you have any questions about this part of the OSHA walking working surfaces rule, please reach out to us!

info@edgefallprotection.com

844-314-1374

www.EDGEfallprotection.com