Rooftop Safety

SaskPower’s Rooftop Safety Journey: A Case Study

The Challenge

Facility teams worked within 6 feet of a 10-foot or greater drop, facing significant fall hazards in their day to day work.

The Solution

A personalized package including walkway with an integrated guardrail system and a cage ladder to access the various sections of the rooftop, ensuring work area.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Established in 1929, SaskPower is Saskatchewan’s leading power supplier. They support Saskatchewan’s growth and work to enhance the quality of life for over half a million customers. They generate power using a variety of sources and operate one of Canada’s largest grids while also being connected to the grids in Manitoba, Alberta and North Dakota.

SaskPower operates on corporate values of safety, openness, collaboration and accountability. With safety being part of the organization’s DNA, ensuring employees think ‘safety first’ when completing a task is a must. Whether you’re maintaining the grid or maintaining rooftop units, safety is uncompromisable.

ELEVATED WORK: THE CHALLENGES

Having a clear understanding of where access to the roof is located is a critical component in roof edge awareness. You want to know prior to walking onto the roof if you will encounter any hazards, such as the edge of the rooftop being to your side once stepping on the roof.

Now that you know what the environment is like around the access points, how about the points of interest? Knowing where the critical points of interest are on the rooftop, like HVAC systems or solar panels, is vital. As a facility maintenance manager or building owner you want to ensure you have a safe way to navigate from the several roof access points to these points of interest. Ultimately, enabling you to apply fall protection measures and solutions to areas where there is a risk of a trip and/or fall.

For SaskPower, safety will always be paramount. Their team understood that at any time they were working within 6 feet of a 10-foot or greater drop, they were faced with a fall hazard. When reviewing the layout of the roof it was clear that a safety plan would be required to ensure a safe means of navigating the rooftop.

ELEVATED SAFETY: OUR SOLUTIONS

In partnership with the roofing contractor and SaskPower, our team of safety specialists designed a solution that includes a walkway with an integrated guardrail system and a cage ladder to access the various sections of the rooftop. The combination of these systems created a solution that ensured safe access and a safe working environment while on the rooftop.

The non-penetrating aluminum walkway system ensured a means of having secure footing while navigating the rooftop, with the integrated guardrail system creating an enclosed barrier. This barrier not only serves as a means of increasing stability while walking, but also creates an enclosure ensuring a guided pathway. With a number of rooftop units, the walkway system was designed to ensure safe travels when close to the edge of the roof. It also allowed easier and quicker access to certain sections of the roof.

The rugged and grippy surface ensured secure footing year-round. Allowing for the snow to melt with ease through the grates. Being a lightweight modular aluminum system, installing the system on-site was easier and quicker than a welded steel solution. Being a non-penetrating system, using self-ballasted base plates provided further cost savings as repairs to the roof weren’t needed.

While on the roof there was a requirement to access elevated parts of the rooftop for maintenance purposes. When designing such a fixed access ladder, it is critical to design it in a manner where if a fall were to occur it would be controlled and away from the edge of the roof. Ultimately, preventing a secondary fall from the main rooftop. Cage ladders were specified and installed to increase safety while ascending and descending from the elevated space.

The lightweight aluminum modular ladders made it easy to transport and customize on-site while offering the user increased safety with the cage attachment and grippy rungs.

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THE TRUSTED CHOICE: PROJECT OUTCOMES

Our expertise and inventory of solutions combined to facilitate the highest levels of safety for SaskPower. A holistic approach establish a secure and reliable network environment on a rooftop that otherwise presented a number of fall and other safety hazards to facilities and maintenance teams.

Through the implementation of a walkway with an integrated walkway system, caged ladders underpinned by a gripped surface, workers at height could access and traverse the roof in a way that was both safe and efficient.

These successful outcomes were all delivered within a quick installation window, significantly reducing labor and transport costs. The result? A cost-effective, functional and durable rooftop that puts safety first.

High-Slope Rooftop Safety Solution: A Case Study

When it comes to fall protection and ensuring the welfare of those working at heights, it is critical to remember that no two elevated workspaces are the same. Here is a case study of a recent rooftop safety project delivered on behalf of a large commercial building based in the state of Texas.

Project Overview 

The safety experts at Skyline Group were contacted by the facility maintenance manager and roofing contractor, working on behalf of the building owner. The roofing contractor highlighted the challenges presented by the steep sloped roof. The layout of this rooftop created a working environment fraught with risk, with a sloped design making the safe navigation of the rooftop difficult for the building owner, facility maintenance teams and contractors alike.

man standing on Texas rooftop

Elevated Work: The Challenges

For workers employed by the building owner and facility maintenance team, attempting to access and work on this sloped rooftop brought to light a series of hazards that could potentially result in a fall.

The primary safety concern in this project was in how workers had no secure footing on a sloped part of the roof, nor access to a levelled platform. In this scenario, the inclined rooftop not only creates an environment where the worker has a higher chance of tripping or falling; it also makes it extremely difficult for that worker to conduct the work at-hand.

This sloped rooftop presented inherent safety risks not just to workers at height, such as contractors and facility maintenance teams: it also compromised the safety of those outside at ground level. This was because the incline made it difficult for workers to position tools and other equipment securely. This created a scenario where those tools could roll or fall off the roof, with potentially fatal consequences if actions were not to be taken.

Finally, when walking on this sloped rooftop, facility maintenance teams and contractors had no means of secure access, especially with the slippery roof material making it a significant challenge to gain secure footing.

man on rooftop ladder on Texas rooftop

Elevated Safety: Our Solutions

Following extensive consultations and in partnership with the roofing contractor and building owner, our team of height safety and fall protection experts got to work on specifying a comprehensive package of safety solutions including a walkway with a guardrail system, a hatch guardrail system and a fixed ladder. By providing a combination of these safety essentials, Skyline Group ensured secure access and a working environment where the risk to those workers was now minimized.

Firstly, the walkway system ensured a means of having secure footing while navigating the rooftop, with the integrated guardrail system creating an enclosed barrier. This barrier not only served as a means of increasing stability while walking for workers at height, but also created an enclosure ensuring that they take the guided pathway.

Aside from that, our next focus was on addressing the lack of safety for workers while climbing out of the rooftop hatch. By recommending and implementing a custom hatch barrier solution with a gate, our team ensured a safe means of stepping out of the hatch, with the gate closing automatically behind the worker. This negated a significant safety hazard, where an open hatch could create a fall hazard with a dangerous opening where an employee could fall through.

Finally, our implementation of a fixed access ladder provided safe access to other rooftops via a dedicated hatch. With each rooftop having anchor points, we ensured that the walkway and ladder system led workers to a safe anchor point where a barrier system wasn’t possible.

Across all areas of this project, our client saw significant advantages in the modularity of the safety solutions we provided. Their lightweight aluminum construction caught the attention of the roofing contractor as it would make for an easy and quick installation.

installed rooftop safety solution. walkways, guardrails

The Trusted Choice: Project Outcomes

The outcome of this project saw height safety transformed for our client. Our comprehensive approach established a secure and dependable work environment on a challenging sloped rooftop.

Through the implementation of a walkway system with integrated guardrails, a custom hatch barrier solution, and a fixed access ladder, we significantly minimized risk factors for workers at height. This not only ensured their safety but also enhanced operational efficiency on the rooftop.

The lightweight, modular design of our solutions facilitated a swift installation, reducing labor and transport costs, thereby offering our client a cost-effective, durable, and highly functional safety system.

Count On It: What Our Customer Said 

This project had a lot to consider. We were grateful to have the support of the Skyline team, helping with designing and providing a safety solution that checked all our requirements.”

Roof Hatch Safety – Walmart Reviews Rooftops Across Canada

The Challenge

If a roof hatch is left open while service/maintenance is being conducted, it creates an unprotected opening. Creating a fall hazard.

The Solution

Generally, a fall greater than 3 meters where the hazard cannot be eliminated requires some form of fall protection, like a guardrail to protect workers from a fall hazard.

Walmart is one of Canada’s largest employers. And it is continually growing, by adding more services, including online shopping at Walmart.ca, home delivery, and pickup at stores, with many more locations on the horizon. Every day, the company works with more than 2,100 Canadian suppliers. Safety for customers, staff, and third-party vendors is paramount. This safety-driven culture led Walmart to schedule a site visit with a roofing consultant to better understand how to create a safer working environment on their rooftops.

Roof Hatch Safety: The Fall Hazard

Hatches for industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) buildings can pose a fall hazard because they provide access to the roof, most likely greater than 3 meters from the ground. An unexpected fall to the ground from the rooftop can be life-threatening. If the hatch is left open while service/maintenance is being conducted, it creates an unprotected opening. Thus, a fall through the hatch from the rooftop can be just as dangerous as a fall from the roof’s edge, as the floor below the hatch opening can be quite far from the rooftop. When navigating the rooftop, workers may be distracted and not realize that the roof hatch behind them has been left open. This proves true when working on a large project where multiple people are visiting or working on the roof.

Furthermore, the area around the hatch may not be adequately marked or protected, which can increase the risk of someone accidentally stepping into the opening or losing their balance while working near the hatch opening. This risk is particularly heightened when workers must access the roof frequently or in areas with high foot traffic as the chances of a hatch door being left open are higher.

It’s important to note that the Ontario Building Code – Industrial Establishments requires employers to provide fall protection for workers working at heights of 3 meters (approximately 10 feet) above a lower level. This can include using guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, or other appropriate measures to prevent falls. So, how tall is your fixed hatch ladder? And do you have a safety solution to prevent a fall-related injury?

Roof Hatch Safety: Minimizing The Risk of a Fall Near a Roof Hatch

Generally, a fall greater than 3 meters where the hazard cannot be eliminated requires some form of fall protection, like a guardrail to protect the worker from danger. In addition, to minimize the risk of a misstep and a potential fall through the roof hatch, it is essential to:

  1. Review and assess where the hatch is installed on the roof. Surprisingly, hatches are often installed on an exterior wall, making the climb out of the hatch onto the roof hazardous as you may be near the roof’s edge.
  2. Ensure the hatch is installed correctly.
  3. Review the hatch’s ability to close and open easily.
  4. Verify that the hatch and connected ladder has remained intact and secured to the roof/wall.
  5. Additionally, facility maintenance teams and 3rd party workers should be trained to identify hazards associated with rooftop hatches and instructed on how to go about using the appropriate fall protection solutions.

Roof Hatch Safety: Barrier Solution Provides a Safe & Compliant Rooftop

With the help of a local roofing consultant, Walmart selected and specified the Skyline 5004 HatchBarrier solution with the addition of hatch grab bars. The galvanized steel hatch guardrail system provides a safe perimeter when roof workers and maintenance staff are on the roof with the hatch door open. The addition of hatch grab bars added an extra layer of safety, ensuring three points of contact when climbing the hatch ladder and stepping onto the roof. From an installation standpoint, everything about Skyline Group’s hatch barrier solution provided a quick and easy installation. In addition, its modular design allowed for easy and fast transport to the roof while making it possible to fasten the barrier to any roof hatch size.

On this rooftop, due to the hatch opening being placed near the roof’s edge, both Walmart and the consultant wanted to minimize concerns of a fall occurring due to a misstep while exiting the hatch onto the rooftop. As a result, the team also installed a non-penetrating safety rail of 10 feet in length, creating a protective barrier between the hatch and the rooftop’s edge. This would ensure that year-round, the proximity of the hatch to the edge of the rooftop would not pose any danger. With the safety rail being non-penetrating, the installation was quick and easy, with no repairs required to the roof membrane, as the safety rail was stabilized with weighted base plates.

Public School Creates a Safe Roof Environment Meeting Ontario TSSA Safety Requirements

The Challenge

TSSA gas technician to raise a concern that the units were located on a sloped surface that would make it difficult to ensure a safe working environment.

The Solution

The rooftop safety solution consisted of a walkway with guardrail and platform system starting at the roof hatch, up the slope of the building, down the roof to three RTUs (HVAC systems).

Huron Centennial Public School

The Avon Maitland District School Board is a full-service, public, English school district in southwestern Ontario, bordering Lake Huron and covering some of the most productive agricultural lands in Canada. It covers the counties of Huron and Perth, with over 160,000 people calling the Avon Maitland District their home. Huron Centennial Public School is one of the schools in this district and is located on 30-plus acres of property in rural Ontario. It is a kind, caring, and compassionate school community with a dedicated, supportive, and professional staff. Their unique natural setting allows students many opportunities to extend their learning outdoors. They have grown to 16 classrooms, including three full-day learning classrooms with teacher/early childhood educator teams.

A Visit from the Ontario TSSA

With the interior of the building undergoing renovations, there was a requirement to update the rooftop units (RTUs). This update to the rooftop units yielded a TSSA gas technician to raise a concern that the units were located on a sloped surface that would make it difficult to ensure a safe working environment. TSSA then notified the consultant that a leveled walkway system to the rooftop units, including handrails and guardrails as well as steps to traverse the slope, would suffice in creating safe access to the RTUs, while creating a compliant working environment.
  • That a permanent guardrail solution will be designed, built, and installed to meet the requirements of section 14 of Ontario Regulation 851 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • The method of securing the guardrail assembly to the building.
  • The design details of the guardrail layout.
  • The drawings are also required to show:
    • A plan/view of the roof.
    • The location of the appliances, appliance panels, new guardrails, or barriers on the roof.
    • That the distance from any open end of the guardrail to the gas-fired HVAC system will be a minimum of 6 feet from the roof’s edge, and that the service clearances are maintained year-round with safe passage.
With the commercial rooftop having a steep slope with no standing seam, Huron Centennial was looking for a team of height safety experts to review their rooftop and conduct a rooftop safety audit, providing a safety solution that surpasses TSSA’s safety requirements.

Solution: Customized Rooftop Guardrail & Walkway System

After discussing the project with their current safety supplier and the potential solution with TSSA, Huron Centennial started searching for a safety partner that would have the design specifications and safety experience to meet their needs. The facility maintenance team at Huron Centennial selected our design and modular solution based on the following;
  • Skyline Group’s extensive experience with meeting and surpassing TSSA’s safety requirements.
  • Quick turnaround on providing a solution that includes engineered stamped drawings, in order to schedule maintenance ASAP with TSSA.
  • Modular solution, making customizing the guardrail and walkway system to meet their needs easy, with no increased lead times.
  • All products, and any customization, is available locally in Perth Ontario. Ensuring a quick turnaround from order to delivery.
  • While the system’s modular design made this custom solution possible, it also drastically reduced the installation time and labor costs. Reducing the required budget for this project.
  • With the solution being manufactured in lightweight aluminum, transporting the material to the roof was quick and easy.
  • Finally, our experience and reputation working with various Canadian school boards made us the preferred vendor.
The rooftop safety solution consisted of a walkway with guardrail and platform system starting at the roof hatch, up the slope of the building, down the roof to three RTUs (HVAC systems). This custom solution created a safe year-round path to and from the rooftop units, with the platforms also providing a safe working environment, away from any potential fall hazard.

Reaching New Heights with a Modular Aluminum Access Ladder

The Challenge

When 3rd party contractors and maintenance teams were looking to access the roof section that houses the school’s gym, easy and safe access to that elevated section wasn’t available.

The Solution

Skyline Group reviewed the building designs and recommended a modular aluminum roof access ladder to ensure a safe and compliant climb to the rooftop.

Montreal High School Takes Safety to New Heights

Visitors who walk through the doors of Louis-Joseph-Papineau high school, located in the Saint-Michel district of Montreal, quickly notice the warm and friendly atmosphere. At Louis-Joseph-Papineau, students are expected to devote themselves to their studies and participate in various committees and  extracurricular activities. Therefore, the school constantly seeks to adapt to the needs and expectations of students by offering them stimulating learning tools.

Various Elevations in Roof Design

Like many rooftops, the Louis-Joseph-Papineau high school has multiple elevations in their design/layout. When 3rd party contractors and maintenance teams were looking to access the roof section that houses the school’s gym, easy and safe access to that elevated section wasn’t available. The roofing contractor, who had previously worked with Skyline Group on various projects, inquired about our line of aluminum roof access ladders.

Safe Roof Access with an Aluminum modular Ladder

The height safety specialists at Skyline Group reviewed the building designs and recommended a modular aluminum roof access ladder to ensure a safe and compliant climb to the rooftop. The specified solution met both the contractor’s and the school’s requirements.

  • Surpassed both national and local safety standards and regulations.
  • Its aluminum structure and modular design made installation quick and easy.
  • The aluminum material ensured that the ladder would remain looking new for years to come. In addition, unlike a steel ladder, an aluminum ladder doesn’t require maintenance to ensure its coating remains intact. Contemplating selecting an aluminum roof access ladder versus a steel roof access ladder?
  • The ladder platform adds a layer of safety when stepping off the ladder, with the guardrails creating a safe perimeter to ensure a firm footing.
  • The ladder and its components were stocked in our Ontario warehouse, making a quick turnaround possible. In addition, with the ladder and its components being manufactured in aluminum, there was no need to delay the delivery to have the ladder coated or painted with a protective layer.

A Customized Catwalk Provides Safe Access to Rooftop Units

The Challenge

The facility maintenance team and property owner wanted to ensure a safe means of navigating to and around the newly added rooftop units.

The Solution

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.

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

The Challenge

Utilizing a portable step ladder or extension ladder to climb through the hatch is simply not a long-term solution, or safe means of gaining access to the rooftop. It is important to ensure the user can maintain three points of contact throughout their climb, ensuring a safe and compliant working environment.

The Solution

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.

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.

Large Flat Commercial Rooftop Introduces a Roofline System

The Challenge

With the rooftop having multiple RTUs (rooftop units), the facility maintenance team wanted to install a solution that would help warn roof workers that they are approaching a hazard.

The Solution

After we conducted a virtual tour of their rooftop, our roof safety specialists recommended a RoofLine system. It is a free-standing roof delineator system to be used as a bumpline or warning line on a roof where access is required; however, close access to the roof edge is not a must.

Large Flat Commercial Rooftop Introduces a Roofline System

Companies like Amazon and IKEA are building and operating some of the largest warehouses to support the needs of consumers. As a result, we are seeing some of the largest commercial flat roofs being built, with the square footage of these rooftops getting larger every year. No matter the size, working on a roof is dangerous and poses a fall risk. We sometimes think that the larger rooftops are less dangerous as you have more space to conduct maintenance, but that’s not entirely true. It’s not the size of the flat commercial roof but where you are working in proximity to the edge of it that dictates how dangerous it is. With larger roofs you might also discover areas where personnel aren’t allowed access without approval, hence requiring a warning line system directing them away from the unauthorized area. During the winter months, hazards can also become invisible, such roof hazards include skylights or the edge of the roof not being visible due to the snow and ice overhanging a foot out from the edge.

Roof Hazard Review

For this commercial building, it all started with a roof safety and hazard review. With the rooftop having multiple RTUs (rooftop units), the facility maintenance team wanted to install a solution that would help warn roof workers that they are approaching a hazard. Ultimately, creating a safety perimeter on their roof to help ensure roof workers remain on the recommended walkway. If a roof worker were approved to go beyond the perimeter to maintain an RTU, then they would have been protected by a nearby fixed guardrail. This warning solution would also have to be visible during the winter months when most of the roof and its hazards are covered in snow.

Creating A Safe Perimeter with a RoofLine System

After we conducted a virtual tour of their rooftop, our roof safety specialists recommended a RoofLine system. It is a free-standing roof delineator system to be used as a bumpline or warning line on a roof where access is required; however, close access to the roof edge is not a must. The system keeps subcontractors from getting too close to the roof edge, essentially creating a visibly safe perimeter on your rooftop. Doing so can also avoid the requirement to install a permanent guardrail at the edge of the roof, making the RoofLine a cost-effective safety measure. With the warehouse expanding to meet the growing needs of its customers, it was also crucial that the system be modular. Making it quick and easy to expand their roof safety program.

Conestoga Cold Storage Creates a Safe Rooftop With a Non-Penetrating Safety Guardrail

The Challenge

On this flat commercial rooftop the HVAC system is slightly more than 6 feet away from the roof’s edge, creating a fall hazard while maintaining the HVAC system.

The Solution

Both penetrating and non-penetrating systems will keep roof workers safe while working on a commercial flat roof, minimizing the risk of injury. Our modular aluminum self-ballasted roof safety guardrail systems were specified due to their ease of installation and robust build.

Conestoga Cold Storage Creates a Safe Rooftop With a Non-Penetrating Safety Guardrail

Serving customers from across Canada and around the world, Conestoga operates five automated cold storage warehouses with a total storage volume of over 64 million cubic feet which provides fully computerized warehouse facilities, distribution centres, and a chain of cross docks that enable them to deliver product efficiently from coast to coast. This combination results in dependable service across the country.

Living A Safety First Culture

The consultant working with Conestoga’s Western Canada team recommended a review of the rooftop prior to them taking ownership of their new building. The review was made up of walking the same path as a facility maintenance worker would in gaining safe access to the rooftop, while ensuring a safe environment on the roof where routine maintenance occurs. Skyline’s team of roof safety specialists assisted the consultant and Conestoga in reviewing the building’s rooftop safety requirements.

HVAC Roof Safety Guardrail

On this flat roof the HVAC system is slightly more than 6 feet away from the roof’s edge, so why would a safety solution be required? When a member of the facility maintenance team or a third-party service crew is required to be on the roof, they need to travel and work in an environment that is within 6 feet from the roof’s edge. When taking into consideration one’s tools and the need to work from all angles of the HVAC system, you are physically too close to a fall hazard. As a result, Skyline Group recommended an aluminum non-penetrating roof safety guardrail system that would act as a permanent safety solution. Ensuring, regardless of where you are working around the HVAC system, the risk of a fall is eliminated.

Why Use a Non-Penetrating Roof Safety Guardrail

Both penetrating and non-penetrating systems will keep roof workers safe while working on a commercial flat roof, minimizing the risk of injury. The modular aluminum self-ballasted roof safety guardrail systems were selected by Conestoga due to the following:

  • Being a self-ballasted non-penetrating system meant that there was no need to fasten the roof safety guardrail to the brand-new rooftop. Eliminating the need for the roof to be resealed from potential water leaks, and increase labor costs.
  • Its modular design brought various advantages;
    • Easy and quick installation.
    • When compared to a welded solution, the modular system was extremely easy to transport to the rooftop.
    • Its design allowed for flexibility, as the roof evolves with time so will the safety guardrail solution.
  • Its aluminum material ensures that the unit will not corrode during the harsh winter months.
  • Due to roof load requirements, this aluminum guardrail also minimized the strain that would be placed on the roof.
  • With the roof safety guardrail system requiring less time to transport and install on-site, the project was also completed under budget and on time.

Looking to understand how you can ensure a safe and compliant rooftop? Connect with our team of safety specialists for your complimentary safety lunch and learn session.

Starbucks Creates Safe Roof Access with a Modular Aluminum Ladder

The Challenge

Starbucks was in the midst of opening a new location in Orilia, Ontario, when they noticed that the building drawings were missing a safe means of accessing the rooftop from the outside of the building.

The Solution

The height safety specialists at Skyline Group reviewed the building designs and recommended a modular aluminum cage ladder that would ensure a safe and compliant climb to the rooftop.

Starbucks Creates Safe Roof Access with a Modular Aluminum Ladder

BRINGING ROOF SAFETY TO NEW HEIGHTS​

Starbucks was in the midst of opening a new location in Orilia, Ontario, when they noticed that the building drawings were missing a safe means of accessing the rooftop from the outside of the building. Starbucks reached out to the Skyline team to get an understanding of how they can go about ensuring safe roof access. Due to the new building being ready any day now, Starbucks required a solution that would be easy to install with a quick turnaround time from design to delivery.

Why Use a Modular Aluminum Roof Access Ladder

The height safety specialists at Skyline Group reviewed the building designs and recommended a modular aluminum cage ladder that would ensure a safe and compliant climb to the rooftop. The solution checked all of their boxes.

  • Surpassed both national and local safety standards and regulations.
  • Its aluminum structure and modular design made installation quick and easy.
  • The aluminum material ensured that the ladder would remain looking new for years to come and protect it from rusting. Unlike a steel ladder, an aluminum ladder doesn’t require maintenance to ensure its coating remains intact. Contemplating selecting an aluminum roof access ladder versus a steel roof access ladder?
  • The ladder cage adds a layer of safety when climbing, with the integrated platform and guardrail providing a safe means of stepping off the ladder onto the rooftop.
  • It is not compliant or recommended to cut your ladder short, in order to restrict public access. This is why a lockable cage door was integrated into the design, this is common around buildings that have a lot of pedestrian foot traffic.
  • The ladder and its components were all stocked in our Ontario warehouse, making a quick turnaround possible. With the ladder and its components being manufactured in aluminum, there was no need to delay the delivery in order to have the unit coated or painted.

Restricting Roof Access to The Public

During our discussions with Starbucks, they were looking to ensure that once on the roof there would be a safe means of stepping off the ladder onto the small rooftop. Due to the size of the rooftop you are always close to the edge of the roof, especially when stepping off of the ladder. This is why a walkway and guardrail system was integrated into the design of the ladder, ensuring the user would have a safe passage away from the edge of the ladder and roof. They also wanted to ensure that access to the ladder was restricted to only those employees or service personnel that were approved to be on the roof. As a result, Skyline introduced a lockable cage gate to the design, to restrict any unwanted access to the rooftop while still ensuring the ladder met local safety guidelines.

roof railing

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