What Roof Edge Protection Does My Building Need? 4 Benefits to Kee Guard

Choosing the right roof edge protection for your building can be a complex task, riddled with numerous considerations and many solutions on the market. How can you choose the right rooftop guardrail system that suits your roof structure, meets stringent regulations and provides long-term, affordable roof edge protection?

The challenge lies in assessing your structure’s specific needs while ensuring compliance with health and safety and building regulations.

Amongst the myriad of safety measures one can implement, an essential one that stands out is the roof edge protection system. This is not just a requirement but an investment in the safety of those who will be working at height on your premises.

Your building’s roof edge protection, such as a guardrail system, is paramount in preventing tragic falls and ensuring a secure and safe working environment.

What is Roof Edge Protection?

Roof edge protection is exactly as it sounds, a form of safety system designed to prevent falls from the edge of roofs.

It typically consists of modular system of guardrails, handrails and toeboards that create a fully collective protection barrier around the edge of the roof or elevated area. This type of system provides workers and visitors with a physical boundary to prevent accidental falls, without the need for personal protective equipment or training.

Falls from height are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), falls from height accounted for 29% of fatal accidents in 2019/2020. As such, it is essential to have proper roof edge protection in place to ensure the safety of workers and visitors.

your roof covering fall protection system

UK Roof Edge Protection Compliance

In the United Kingdom, the safety standards for work at height, including roof edge protection, are primarily regulated by the Work at Height Regulations 2005. These rules mandate that all work at height must be properly planned and supervised, with appropriate safety measures in place to minimise the risk of falls.

A specific provision, Regulation 9, is dedicated to guardrails, toe-boards, barriers, and similar collective means of protection. It requires that such measures are used wherever possible to prevent falls.

When it comes to accessing roofs, roof structures must be assessed for their ability to safely support the weight of people and equipment. Provision for safe access, such as ladders or temporary stairs, should be included in the planning stages. Regularly maintained and inspected guardrails should be installed around the roof edge, as well as around any openings, fragile surfaces, or skylights to provide added safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also provides guidelines which underline the importance of conducting risk assessments and implementing controls like edge protection to prevent falls from roofs. It’s crucial to remain compliant with these regulations to ensure the safety and welfare of anyone accessing your building’s roof.

fall protection guardrail systems fall protection

Selecting the Right Fall Protection System for Your Business

Choosing the ideal roof edge protection for the roof covering your building can be a complex task as it varies depending on several factors.

First, consider the height and slope of your roof, as steep or unusually shaped or flat roofs may require specialised guardrails for adequate safety.

Secondly, the frequency of roof access and the type of work conducted there can influence the choice of protection.

For instance, if your team regularly accesses the roof for maintenance tasks, a permanent guardrail system like Kee Guard rooftop guardrail system may be more suitable.

Lastly, bear in mind the aesthetic impact of the roof edge protection on your building – some solutions offer both safety and a visually pleasing design.

Always remember, the ultimate goal of roof edge protection is to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of all personnel accessing the roof.

kee guard modular components for collective protection

The Hierarchy of Controls for Working at Height

The Hierarchy of Controls is a system used to minimise or eliminate exposure to hazards. It’s particularly relevant when working at height, where risks are heightened. The steps, in order of most to least effective, are:

  1. Elimination: The most effective solution. Can the need for working at height be removed altogether?
  2. Substitution: If elimination is not possible, can the hazardous process be replaced with a less dangerous one?
  3. Engineering controls: This involves redesigning the working process to make it safer. Examples of this in a height context could be installing guardrails or roof edge protections.
  4. Administrative controls: This includes training workers to understand the risks and safe practices involved in working at height.
  5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This is the last line of defence, protecting the individual worker if all other control measures fail or aren’t feasible.

This hierarchy can guide you in assessing potential hazards and deciding on the right roof edge protection for your building.

For example, if eliminating the need to work at height isn’t possible, you may consider installing a guardrail system, an engineering control, to provide a high level of safety. It is crucial to remember that the best solution often involves a combination of these controls.

kee guard proven counterbalance system

4 Benefits of Kee Guard

Kee Guardrail rooftop guardrail system is a leading solution in roof edge protection systems, offering a versatile and robust guardrail system designed to keep people safe when working at height.

This freestanding system provides the highest level of protection without compromising your roof’s integrity. It’s compliant with UK edge protection regulations and is an essential part of the hierarchy of controls for preventing falls in the workplace.

Kee Guardrail rooftop guardrail system utilises a counterweight system, which means no drilling into your roof is necessary to install it, preserving its warranty and avoiding any potential leaks. Whether your building has a flat or sloped roof, Kee Guard ensures optimal safety and peace of mind.

Kee Guard offers numerous advantages that make it a top choice for your building’s roof edge protection:

  1. Easy Installation: Kee Guard’s guardrail system is designed for quick and hassle-free installation, causing minimal disruption to your business operations.
  2. Versatility: Whether your roof is flat, sloped, or with awkward corners, Kee Guardrail rooftop guardrail system can adapt to various roof configurations, providing comprehensive protection.
  3. Durability: Kee Guard’s guardrails are made from high-grade galvanised steel, ensuring long-lasting resistance against weather elements and robust edge protection for your building.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Kee Guard’s guardrail system meets and exceeds UK’s edge protection regulations, providing you with the peace of mind knowing your building is protected and compliant.
guardrail systems protect workers and the roof membrane

Roof Edge Protection System

In conclusion, ensuring the safety of personnel working at height on your building is an essential, complex task, governed by stringent regulations. Selecting the right roof edge protection involves considering various factors such as the roof’s slope, the frequency of access, and the type of work undertaken. Kee Guardrail rooftop guardrail system provides a versatile, robust, and compliant solution, offering a guardrail system that preserves your roof’s integrity whilst ensuring optimal safety.

However, a comprehensive approach to height safety often requires more than just roof edge protection. It’s about utilising a combination of elimination, substitution, engineering controls like guardrails, administrative controls, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with the Hierarchy of Controls for working at all roof types and height.

At Harcon, we’re here to help you navigate this complexity and ensure your building is as safe as possible. We offer a range of fall protection solutions tailored to your specific needs. Don’t compromise on safety – contact us today for a comprehensive approach to your building’s height safety.

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