Roof skylights allow natural light to enter the building and reduce energy costs. Also, natural light through skylights has a positive impact on the well-being of people in the building. However, roof skylights are a fall hazard. A worker working near or walking close to an unprotected skylight can accidentally fall into the skylight. As a result, a fall into an unprotected skylight can mean injuries or fatalities (see OSHA’s Falls in Construction/Skylights Prevention Video). One option to consider in preventing falls into a skylight is a skylight screen. A skylight screen covers the skylight with a wire mesh framework. This framework can take the weight of a person standing or falling on it. Consequently, a roof skylight screen can prevent falls into a skylight.
Furthermore, OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection for workers. OSHA’s Walking Working Surfaces in General Industry includes 29CFR 1910.28 (b)(3)(i): Employers are to ensure that each employee is protected from falling through any hole (including skylights) which are 4 feet or more above a lower level by one or more of the following: (1) covers (also referred to as skylight screens), (2) guardrail systems, (3) travel restraint systems, or (4) personal fall arrest systems.
Hence, the use of skylight screens as a structural barrier is one approach in preventing falls through skylights. EDGE Fall Protection has the following skylight screen options:
Skyguard Skylight Screen offers a freestanding, non-penetrating design consisting of a tubular welded frame and metal shield cover. This cover system needs no assembly. Place the system over the top of the skylight. Four rubber-tipped compression bolts secure the guard against the curb of the skylight to hold it in place.
Skylight Screen includes aluminum channels with a galvanized mesh screen. Place the system over the top of the skylight. This system involves a compression fit with no penetrations.
Metal Roof Skylight Screen has applications for standing seam, R-panel, and corrugated metal roofs. This cover system is constructed of 4” x 4” galvanized mesh screen and custom sizing is available.
In conclusion, skylight safety screens are an important consideration for a proactive fall prevention system. For more information about our products, reach out to the EDGE Fall Protection team.