Safe access to the roof – for your own employees or for third parties – is absolutely essential when it comes to providing a safe working environment. I have therefore put together a number of tips for creating a safe roof access point.
1. Make sure all the necessary PPE is available
When going onto the roof to perform work, make sure that all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available. Always check your equipment before using it to ensure that it is safe and functioning properly.
2. Use a roof access hatch to get onto the roof
Use a roof access hatch to get onto the roof so that you only need to bridge one floor in your 'climb' to the roof. If you climb the outside of the building using a ladder, you will have a much longer climb – over multiple floors – and therefore a much greater safety risk.
3. Secure your ladder when accessing the roof
Make sure that you secure the ladder that takes you onto the roof to a hook system. Securing the ladder prevents it from slipping as you climb.
Securing the ladder is simple if you combine a ladder with a roof access hatch and a hook-on step. Staka's hook-on step – with anti-slip profile – can easily be fitted in all Staka roof access hatches; you simply fix the hook-on step in the upstand of the roof access hatch with four bolts.
The alternative is a roof access hatch with a retractable ladder. With this combination, the ladder is 'fixed' to the roof and therefore cannot slip. A roof access hatch with a retractable ladder is therefore also a safe solution.
4. Make sure you can hold onto something during the climb
It is very important that you can hold onto something for support during your climb onto the roof. Taking tools up to the roof? Use a backpack – you will need at least one hand free to hold onto the ladder/staircase.
A roof access hatch with retractable ladder is equipped as standard with a handrail, and a roof access hatch with a ladder has a ladder beam to hold onto. The cover of the roof access hatch locks in place automatically when it is fully opened, giving you a good firm grip on the handrail in the roof access hatch cover.
5. Beware of the risk of falling
The risk of falling through the hatch opening is a major safety hazard when working on roofs. Draw up an inventory of the risks before you go onto the roof based on the briefing provided by a building owner or manager, for example.
It is also important to eliminate the risk of falling through openings. With a Staka roof access hatch, you can close the roof access hatch cover once you have got onto the roof to ensure that the opening is covered. This eliminates the danger of falling through the opening. Once you have completed the work on the roof, open the roof access hatch again and descend to the floor below.
As roof access hatches have a solid cover, they completely eliminate the risk of falling through the hatch opening. You can find more information about safety and preventing such falls with roof access hatches on this page.
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