Rooftop Safety
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A Customized Catwalk Provides Safe Access to Rooftop Units

Hamilton General Hospital

Founded in 1848, Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) was the first hospital in Hamilton. Along with providing general medical care to the community, it is home to a number of Hamilton Health Sciences’ key regional referral programs, including burns, cardiac catheterization, cardiac surgery, electrophysiology, endovascular treatment, extracorporeal life support (ECMO), neurosurgery, stroke, trauma and vascular surgery.  It is also home to programs that provide specialized care to our HNHBB residents: cardiology, neurology and spine. In addition to providing leading-edge care, HGH is strongly connected to its neighbourhood and supports outreach activities aimed towards enhancing the quality of life in the surrounding community.


Roof Safety Never Sleeps

The Hamilton General Hospital has one busy rooftop, with improvements to the roof and RTU’s (rooftop units) occurring on a routine basis. Safety never sleeps on this rooftop, and the maintenance team is always looking for solutions to help minimize and eliminate the risk of a slip or fall. Slips and falls are dangerous, and when they occur on a rooftop, they can be fatal. The facility maintenance team and property owner wanted to ensure a safe means of navigating to and around the newly added rooftop units. 


Why Select a Non-Penetrating Roof Catwalk System

After visiting the site with the general contractor and installer, Hamilton General Hospital selected Skyline Group’s non-penetrating aluminum roof catwalk system. This non-penetrating walkway solution checked all the boxes, a catwalk that was easy to install, safe year-round and compliant with local and national safety codes.

  • The modular system allowed for flexibility in designing the walkway solution while ensuring it can easily expand with the needs of HGH’s growing rooftop.
  • The design allowed for a quick and easy installation, reducing labour requirements.
  • The aluminum material made for a lightweight solution, eliminating any load-bearing concerns.
  • With the catwalk being manufactured in aluminum, the system would remain looking brand new, while also keeping its integrity throughout the year. Unlike a steel solution, Skyline Group’s aluminum catwalk systems require little to no maintenance, with no need to have the aluminum coated with a protective layer every year.
  • The plug-and-play process ensured that the roof would require no repairs after installation. With the system being non-penetrating, the installers were not required to reseal and repair the membrane as no screws were used to fasten the unit to the roof. Keeping the warranty and integrity of the roof intact.

Skyline Group’s experience and reputation in building high-quality non-penetrating roof walkway solutions played an important role in being selected for this roof catwalk project.

Commercial Building Looking For Interior Access to The Rooftop

Gaining Interior Access to the Rooftop

The architect designing this commercial building in Montreal attended one of our complimentary lunch and learn sessions. The main objective of their learning session was to review common hazards in climbing to a sloped rooftop.

Contractors and building personnel requiring access to the rooftop are using a portable step ladder or extension ladder to climb through the roof hatch from the top floor. The architect and building owners wanted to create a safe and compliant means of accessing the roof via the hatch opening. There is a fixed outdoor caged wall ladder on the side of the building, although this solution wasn’t always an option during the winter months, as it would pose a potential fall risk. 

Why Install an Interior Roof Hatch Ladder

Installing a roof access hatch with a fixed ladder allows contractors and maintenance personnel easy access to the roof of the building. Ultimately, eliminating the safety risks that come with climbing an exterior wall ladder. Unlike outdoor roof access ladders, interior hatch ladders require little to no maintenance, while maintaining 24/7 restricted access to the rooftop.

Primarily utilizing a portable ladder to climb through the hatch is not a long-term solution, as it would result in personnel not maintaining three points of contact throughout their climb. It was also a dangerous solution, posing a fall risk when climbing up the portable ladder and stepping off it with equipment in hand.

Why Select a Modular Aluminum Hatch Ladder on Your Next Roof Access Project

For this roof safety project, the site’s small footprint made a standard fixed hatch ladder the clear option.

After reviewing modular and fully welded steel options, the property manager selected the Skyline 7001 series hatch ladder system. Both steel and aluminum hatch ladders would be compliant and offer safe access to the rooftop, although Skyline Group’s aluminum modular hatch ladders provided more than just roof safety compliance.

  • Its design allowed for flexibility, making it easy to install stiles in order to help in climbing out of the hatch onto the rooftop. These extensions/stiles extend past the roof hatch door, ensuring three points of contact and a handle to grab onto while stepping off the last step of the fixed hatch ladder onto the rooftop.
  • When compared to a welded or steel option, the aluminum ladder was easy to transport to the top floor and rooftop.
  • An easy and quick installation helped in reducing labour costs and overall budget requirements.
  • The serrated rungs ensure a safe climb every time.
  • Its aluminum finish keeps the ladder looking new, as it is located in an area that will receive a lot of employee foot traffic. In addition, unlike steel ladders, no maintenance is required over time to keep the aluminum ladder looking new. 

Looking to understand how you can ensure safe rooftop access? Connect with our team of safety specialists today to learn more about the hazards that are present on your rooftop.

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