New Line of Rooftop Fall Arrest Systems

Kee Safety, Inc. introduces its comprehensive line of Kee Rigid Anchors fall arrest systems to provide personal fall protection in tie-back applications including suspended platforms, window washing, equipment tie-back, and general rooftop maintenance and repair operations. Available in stock for shipment within 24 hours, they are designed to withstand a pull-out force of 5,000 lbs. applied in any direction and meet applicable OSHA, ANSI, and Cal/OSHA standards, Kee Safety states.

New Kee Rigid Anchors are galvanized for corrosion resistance and durability, easy to install, and have insulated posts to stop conductivity and provide for temperature consistency on the building, according to the company. The product line includes five standard options to meet a wide range of building and roof types:

  • Bolt on style clamps directly onto new or existing structural steel using patented and proprietary BeamClamp steel-to-steel connectors.
  • Bolt around style bolts around structures of steel, concrete or wood using connector rods and a backer plate.
  • Cast-in-place style casts directly onto new concrete roof slabs of minimum grade 3000 psi and 7-inch thickness.
  • Epoxy adhesive style fastens onto concrete roof slabs of minimum grade 3000 psi and 8-inch thickness.
  • Weld on style welds directly onto new or existing structural steel.

All five Kee Rigid Anchors options are available in three diverse attachment points, depending on application, Kee Safety said. They can be fitted with a forged D-Ring system, Stainless Steel U-Bar model, or a Tapped Hole option for horizontal lifelines. The company also offers custom-design and manufacturing services for anchoring installations that may require different sizes and solutions.

Standards and codes met include OSHA 29 CFR 1910.66 for powered platforms, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.140 for personal fall protection, Cal/OSHA Title 8 Regulations Section 3291 for permanent rooftop installations, ANSI/IWCA I-14.1 for window cleaning safety, ANSI Z359.18 for anchorage connector safety requirements and active fall protection systems, and ANSI/AISC 360-16 specification for structural steel buildings.

For more information, visit www.KeeSafety.com.

Skylight Safety and Fall Protection

Options for protecting workers from the fall hazards associated with skylights include guardrails and skylight covers. Photos: Malta Dynamics

The importance of fall protection for employees working at heights needs little introduction: falls remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities in general industry and construction. One fall hazard in particular can be especially dangerous to construction workers on roofing jobsites: skylights.

Skylights are a popular feature in modern architecture, which tends to emphasize natural light and an unobstructed view of the sky. Skylights are increasingly becoming a part of the rooftop designs of homes and commercial buildings of all kinds, particularly in high-end construction.

Because of their prevalence, skylight hazards for construction workers have earned special attention from regulators and advocacy groups. A recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) alert from the Centers for Disease Control cites hundreds of lost-time injuries and dozens of fatalities caused by workers falling through skylights, existing roof openings, and existing floor openings. Most of these injuries occurred in the construction industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report highlights the dangers of skylight-related falls during snow removal, when the skylights may be covered with snow and their positions can become difficult to judge. The report also cited several cases of falls related to skylights that were unguarded or unsecured during construction or repairs on a roof.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed standards intended to safeguard workers—particularly in construction and general industry — who operate near skylights and roof and floor openings. OSHA 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(4) states: “Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.”

Thankfully there are many options for protecting workers from the fall hazards associated with skylights. Let’s consider each of the types of solutions that OSHA recommends.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems

A personal fall arrest system should include a full body harness; connectors such as a self-retracting lifeline (SRL), shock-absorbing lanyard, or vertical lifeline assembly; and an appropriate anchor point on the roof. There are permanent and temporary options when it comes to roof anchors. Which you choose will depend on whether you intend to install the anchor fixture permanently — if you own the building, for example — or simply need an anchor temporarily for a short-term job. Permanent anchors can be installed in wood, steel, and concrete surfaces, whereas reusable anchors can be installed with screws or nails and then removed with minimal damage to the roof.

Temporary fall protection options include towable free-standing systems that can provide overhead tie-off for multiple workers.

There are several good temporary options for fall protection anchors in rooftop applications that do not puncture the roof’s surface, including roof carts and mobile fall protection units. A roof cart can be pulled around the roof’s surface to provide anchorage to workers where it is needed; these typically use friction or puncture the roof in order to arrest a fall. Mobile fall protection units include road-towable, free-standing systems that can provide overhead tie-off for multiple workers up to 34 feet in the air without damaging the roof’s surface even in the event of a fall.

Covers

Covers must meet the criteria set out in OSHA Standard 1926.502(i)(2): “covers shall be capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.” This means that a cover must be able to support the weight of all workers who may be using the cover, plus all their gear and tools, times two. Covers need to be clearly marked either by color coding or with a word such as “HOLE” or “COVER.” A cover also must be secured in such a way that wind, equipment, or the employees are not able to move it.

Guardrails

Guardrails are a great way to partition off areas where skylights present a fall risk, especially for rooftops where snow cover may obscure a worker’s view of the hazardous area. Guardrails are classified as hazard barriers, acting as a physical barrier between the worker and the fall hazard. Portable, free-standing, and non-penetrating safety rail systems can be used as flat-roof fall protection along skylights and roof perimeters. These systems are easy to install and allow work crews the versatility to work around the existing infrastructure.

In addition to preparing the jobsite with appropriate covers or guardrails and outfitting workers with the necessary personal fall arrest systems, there are several general steps employers can take to identify and mitigate the risk of falls through skylights or roof and floor openings:

  • Assign a Competent Person to inspect the worksite before work begins to identify fall hazards and provide recommendations on what fall prevention system(s) workers should use for the job.
  • Conduct periodic inspections to ensure workers are using their fall protection equipment consistently and correctly, and that fall prevention systems such as covers and guardrails are being properly used and maintained.
  • Train each worker who may be asked to work on a rooftop to enable them to recognize fall hazards and become familiar with the procedures and equipment needed to minimize their risks.

Having adequate personal fall arrest equipment, covers, and guardrails — or a combination of these — in place whenever a worker ascends to the roof to complete construction or maintenance work will go a long way in keeping your team safe. You can go further by training your team and making sure the equipment and processes that are provided are being used consistently and correctly. A little extra effort will help to save lives and prevent injuries.

About the author: David Ivey is the Product Engineering Manager for Malta Dynamics, where he oversees the engineering of all mobile fall protection and custom fall protection systems. For more information or with questions about OSHA compliance of fall protection systems, contact divey@maltadynamics.com.

Ladder Personal Fall Arrest Systems Comply With OSHA Regulations

As of November 19, 2018, new OSHA requirements were implemented for fixed ladders. The OSHA regulations eliminate the need for cages on any new fixed ladder installations. The regulations also require that all fixed ladders over 24 feet be equipped with a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS).

In response to these changes, Design Components Inc. provides PFAS that meet or exceed the new OSHA guidelines. The company offers complete ladder safety solutions with rigid rail and trolley construction or cable and grab construction.

These systems are customizable and are packaged together to include all the needed accessories. This includes the attachment hardware, trolleys, cable grabs, deluxe body harnesses and any other necessary equipment. The company also offers expert consulting to determine the right products for the site to ensure they meet OSHA regulations and ANSI standards.

“Design Components Inc. is a great resource to go to when if you have fixed ladder and PFAS design questions, need product information, or pricing for a specific project,” says Chris Lafferty of Design Components Inc. “This takes the guesswork out of knowing if you have that right products for an OSHA-compliant fixed ladder.”

Design Components Inc. offers a wide variety of accessories and safety-related products for metal buildings, including fixed ladders, ladder fall arrest systems, METALWALK rooftop walkways, door canopies, roof curbs, whole building ventilation, and much more.

LEARN MORE

Visit: www.designcomponents.com

Call: (800) 868-9910