Institutional Safety: Rooftop Fall Protection for Educational and Healthcare Facilities

Institutional Safety: Rooftop Fall Protection for Educational and Healthcare Facilities

Education and healthcare were once joined at the federal cabinet level as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1979, education graduated to become the Department of Education, and the other siblings became the Department of Health and Human Services.

However, for institutional classification, education and healthcare remain united. They have unprecedented responsibilities for the safety and well-being of the students and patients they serve. Due to this public trust, they are scrutinized on all levels for regulatory compliance.

Rooftop fall protection is a significant aspect of such regulation and scrutiny. Educational and healthcare buildings often have large roof footprints with a considerable amount of heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other equipment that need regular inspection and maintenance. Unless effective fall protection measures are in place, they face a significant risk of falls that can lead to injuries or fatalities.

Unfortunately, rooftops can be tempting targets for college students to gather. Since this has resulted in many tragedies, college officials have been examining their policies and security measures to eliminate unauthorized access to roofs.

Whether the people on the roof are legitimate workers or adventurous trespassers, OSHA-compliant fall protection will help reduce the risk of injuries and save lives.

These roofs are made for walkways.

Rooftop surfaces can be unsafe from rain or snow or have slopes and odd shapes that make it challenging to traverse. A roof walkway system with sturdy steel frames and anti-slip treads helps provide safe passage for workers to reach designated areas. Walkways can be fitted with guardrails for added fall protection.

Roof walkways also protect roof surfaces from repeated foot traffic and integrate easily with work and crossover platforms. They can also be fitted with OSHA-compliant guardrails for added fall protection at roof edges and other hazards. Constructed of aluminum or galvanized steel, the guardrails are strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant.

Cross over to the safe side.

Maintenance workers also confront many obstacles on a rooftop, such as ductwork, cables, conduits, piping, and chemical lines. Instead of trying to walk, climb, or hop over obstructions, rooftop crossover platforms should be used. Crossovers can also be designed for workers to navigate a change in roof levels.

Crossovers have a modular design that makes them easy to customize and overcome virtually any obstruction on the roof. They are composed of solid and stable bases and frames, the same anti-slip steps and platforms used for roof walkways, and OSHA-compliant guardrails. Crossovers are installed quickly on-site without welding or drilling.

Take a stance for your platforms.

Rooftop inspections, maintenance, and repairs are, by definition, working at height. Yet, the equipment that needs attention may require workers to be elevated to reach ducts, controls, filters, and the like. Work platforms are versatile structures with safety features such as sturdy frames, guardrails, and anti-slip steps and surfaces. In this respect, they are all similar; however, there are distinct types of work platforms.

  • Fixed Access Platforms – for regular access to a specific work area or equipment.
  • Mobile Work Platforms – equipped with heavy-duty locking casters to move from station to station and provide greater safety and productivity than ladders.
  • Adjustable Work Platforms – to meet more complex maintenance needs, access and workstation requirements.

How can we help you?

Educational and healthcare facilities take pride in being on the edge of learning and technology. When they also prioritize the safety of their workers, they show a deeper commitment to advancement.

If you are responsible for rooftop fall protection, FlexDecks can help. Our services include consultation, design, engineering, installation, and more. Contact us for an evaluation of your rooftop safety needs.