Roof hatches provide roof access for workers and for equipment. While work is done on the roof, a roof hatch is often left open to move freely to and from the roof and to prevent workers from being locked onto the roof. When a hatch is left open, there is a potential fall hazard to those who are on the roof. Workers can lose their footing, trip, or step backward and fall into the open hatch causing injury, disability, or death. The end result can be costly. Therefore, providing roof hatch fall protection is an important element of fall prevention and providing a safe working environment.
First of all, navigating a transition from a ladder to a roof through a roof hatch is a roof access danger. According to OSHA’s new fall protection standard for general industry published in November 2016 (source), “1910.28(b)(3)(iv): Each employee is protected from falling into a ladderway floor hole or ladderway platform hole by a guardrail system and toeboards erected on all exposed sides, except at the entrance to the hole, where a self-closing gate or an offset must be used.” If your roof is accessed via a roof hatch, OSHA stipulates “1910.28(b)(3)(v)(a): When the hole is not in use, the employer must ensure the cover is closed or a removable guardrail system is provided on the exposed sides.” A railing and a gate surrounding a roof hatch mitigate the risk of falls.
Consequently, one solution in providing fall protection for roof hatches is installing a roof hatch guardrail. Our roof hatch guardrail creates a safe roof access system covering all four sides of the roof hatch opening, comes standard with a self-closing safety gate, grab bars, and a 24” safe landing zone for safe roof entry and exit from the roof hatch.
For questions and quotes in providing protection for roof access hatches, reach out to the EDGE Fall Protection team.