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SKYLIGHTS AND ROOF OPENINGS

Falls are one of the most common accidents on a job site.  On average, about 7,000 workers die each year form a fall.  As a roofer, we could fall walking on the job site, off the ladder going to the work area, fall off the edge of the roof or even through the roof.

Who has seen or hear of a worker who sat on a skylight for a break, a drink or a smoke,  then the skylight breaks  and the worker falls to the concrete floor below.  Another hazard we face every day are floor opening.  These may exist for roof top units, roof access or other reasons. 

But we don't need a skylight or a floor opening to fall through a roof.  We can over load a roof with materials and equipment until the structure gives way or we can start working on an older roof without first inspecting the under side for signs of damage or decay.  So what steps do we take to keep us working safely on the roof. 

Make sure the roof has been inspected by a competent person for signs of damage or decay.

Get off, mark, then report any spongy areas on a roof.

When staging materials and equipment, be sure not to exceed the roofs weight capacity.

Sky lights and roof openings can be protected with secure covers which are capable of withstanding at least two time the weight of the workers and materials that are likely to be on the cover.  The covers should be secured from displacement  and be marked with "Hole" or "Cover" painted on them and if possible in English and Spanish.

If no cover is used, then a guard rail system can be installed around the floor openings.  It should meet the same requirements as guardrails along an edge of a building.

Warning lines can be used to cordon off areas where there are several skylights.

When a cover or guard rail is removed to install flashing or blocking, then employees working next to the opening should wear personal fall arrest systems.

And don't sit on, stand on or walk across a sky light.  They are not designed to support your weight and they will let you down.

 

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