In Canada, over 40,000 workplace injuries occur each year due to a fall — and when a worker falls from a roof, the consequences can be quite serious. Accidents that result in head injury or broken limbs can cause an individual to miss several weeks (or even months) of work. In some cases, a severe fall can lead to death. Though a fall could occur almost anywhere, those who work on rooftops are at the greatest risk. Thankfully, it is possible to prevent such accidents. Here’s how you can improve worker safety.
1. Install Safety Guard Rails
To improve conditions at your own facility, a free-standing guard rail is the best to ensure safety. These systems are an absolute must for commercial facilities that don’t have a parapet or other safety system already in place. Their modular nature allows them to be completely customized to the design of the building, ensuring safe working conditions for HVAC maintenance and roofing repairs.
These systems use a sturdy, high-adhesion rubber base that can be installed directly on top of a commercial roof membrane. Weatherproofed aluminum tubing provides resistance to rust and other wear and tear, ensuring that the installation will stand the test of time.
2. Proper Maintenance
Many rooftop falls occur as a result of poor maintenance. The most common culprits include wet walking surfaces, deteriorating or damaged scaffolding and ladders, and poor lighting. Facility managers have a responsibility to continually monitor the condition of all walkways and equipment that could have an impact on worker safety.
By replacing damaged equipment and providing structural repairs in a timely manner, you can remain compliant with legal regulations and prevent potential accidents. On the other hand, failure to address such issues will leave you liable for any incidents that take place.
3. Fall Arrest Equipment
A wide variety of fall arrest equipment has been manufactured over the years, and should be worn by all workers involved in high-elevation tasks. Personal fall arrest systems are comprised of an anchorage (a secure point of attachment that can support an individual’s weight), a body belt or full-body harness, and a means of connection that links the harness to the anchorage. With proper setup, these systems prevent deadly outcomes should a worker fall from a high height.
Correctly implementing these safety measures will require time and money — but they are well worth the investment. No employer wants to be held responsible for the serious injury or death of one of their workers. By taking a proactive approach, you can keep your team safe and avoid the dire financial consequences of an accident.