The dangers of industrial roofs and how to avoid them

Industrial roofs, such as those found on warehouses, logistics centres or factories, are rife with all manner of dangers to life and limb.

From changes in level and trip hazards to fragile skylights, risks posed to those accessing the roof for maintenance or repair range  all the way from minor to fatal.

However, Easi-Dec offers a range of industrial roof solutions to make roof work in these risky areas as safe and efficient as possible. The best solution for you will depend on which dangers are present on your roof.

Obstacles

Cable beds, conduits and pipework are a common sight on many industrial roofs, posing a trip hazard or injury risk to workers or contractors accessing your roof to maintain or repair plant and equipment.

The safest way to negate these risks is with the use of Step-Overs, steps which allow you to overcome the obstacle safely. Though fabricated or welded systems are a common sight on many roofs, these are prone to a host of issues, making them a poor choice for long term protection.

To that end, Easi-Dec supplies modular Step-Overs built from galvanised steel or aluminium Kee tubular fittings. These Step-Overs can be provided in both standard kits or bespoke designs which can be tailored to meet virtually any configuration, height and width, whilst still providing a robust and durable access solution.

Each Step-Over is designed to comply with current regulations and standards, such as the Work at Height Regulations and EN: 14122 part 3 and 4.

For lower obstacles which present a risk but might not constitute a full sized system, we also offer Mini Step-Overs.

Sudden changes in level

Especially common on older factory and warehouse roofs built when design requirements were less restrictive, sudden drops in level and roof ditches can pose a serious trip and fall hazard. To combat this, we offer bespoke Access Platforms built to tackle almost any scenario.

Made from the same modular iron or aluminium Kee fittings as our Step-Over systems, these platforms are incredibly durable and perfect for long term protection, ensuring anyone can access your roof safely for years to come.

Voids

Where you have an access or egress point onto your roof, either via ladder or stairs, you are required by law to protect the void created by these points.

Common solutions to this problem include chains or bars pulled across the gap. These solutions however offer very little in the way of protection, and could in fact create a false sense of security, which might lead to injury or worse if someone was to put weight on them. These systems are also entirely user dependent and rely on the person accessing the roof replacing them once on the roof.

Our Self Closing Safety Gates remove the reliance on users closing the gate behind them thanks to their spring loaded nature. The durable modular design allows for quick and simple installation whilst providing protection compliant with edge protection standards.

Fragile roofs

Industrial roofs, especially older roofs, can become fragile over time. Roof panels can appear safe at first glance, but could collapse when pressure is applied.

We offer a range of non-penetrative, temporary fragile roof products to ensure there’s a safe solution for every scenario that you might encounter.

Board-Walk is a lightweight aluminium walkway which allows access from eaves to ridge whilst spreading the load on support battens, provide the user with a safe working position for skin maintenance, inspection, cleaning or re-sealing work on fragile roofs. Board-Walk can be used both vertically and horizontally and each 4m section can be easily linked to form a longer system.

For roofs with valley gutters, we provide the Valley-Walk system, a mobile walking frame for one or two persons, designed to aid access along valley gutters and provide mobile roof cover. The cushioned aluminium mesh outriggers can also carry light payloads.

Roof-Walk, the fully guarded rolling work platform, is our most comprehensive fragile roof solution. The platform is available in both 4.6m and 2.5m, and the twin 4m track sections can be linked together to cover as much area as you need.

Skylights

Similar to fragile roof panels, skylights present a serious risk and are incredibly common on industrial roofs. Though they are required to be ‘man safe’ on install, they can very quickly become brittle and breakable. Even worse, sunlight can discolour them and make them a hidden danger.

Our Easi-Cover roof light protection provides an effective protective measure against the risks of skylights, without blocking light into the building. The lightweight 1m wide mesh panels can be installed either flat against the roof surface or raised slightly above to prevent damage to the skylight in the event of a fall. Easi-Cover has been extensively tested to meet current safety standards including Class B in the ACR Red Book Test for Non-Fragility of Roof Assemblies and BS EN 1873.

Remember:  unless you are one hundred percent sure that there are no fragile risks on your roof, you should not access the roof without specialist fragile roof equipment until a full risk assessment has been carried out.

For more information about any of our industrial roof safety products, call us on 01767 691812, or use our online contact form.