Rooftop Safety

Fall Protection Systems for Rooftop Projects: An Overview

For property owners, facilities maintenance employees, specifiers or contractors, working at heights is often your day-to-day. Despite this fact, falls have been cited as the leading cause of death in construction fatalities across both the US and Canada. In a learning resource from Skyline Group, we explore why the implementation of robust fall protection systems is therefore essential, comparing some of the key features and benefits of the available options.

 

A quick glance at the statistics paints a sobering picture of the overall levels of safety on Canadian construction sites. An article published by The Safety Mag highlighted that in 2017 alone, the construction sector was the country’s “deadliest industry”, accounting for 217 fatalities in 2017 out of a total of 951. Notably, that same resource includes insights from the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association, which states that “We have made little progress in this area for over two decades”. 

When it comes to putting an end to these sad statistics, the power lies in the hands of all of us who are part of the building community. Fortunately, commercial building owners, contractors, architects, and facilities maintenance professionals have access to a range of fall protection systems, helping them meet and surpass the minimum legal compliance standards.

 

Fall Protection for Rooftop Projects: Understanding Your Obligations

Before we explore the range of fall protection systems available in today’s height safety market, it is crucial to be aware of your legal obligations when it comes to protecting workers at height. On a federal level, Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, SOR/86-304, Sections 12.01 to 12.09 state that an employer must provide or put in place a fall-protection system if work is to be performed in the following scenarios:

  • From a structure or on a vehicle at a height of 3 m or more;
  • From a ladder at a height of 3 m or more if, because of the nature of the work, the person performing it is unable to use at least one hand to hold onto the ladder; or
  • At a height of less than 3 m if the surface onto which the person might fall would present a greater risk of injury than a solid, flat surface.

Being aware of this legislation is essential, but it doesn’t end there. On a provincial level, you will be mandated to meet other requirements. Let’s look at Ontario as an example, where Construction Projects, O. Reg. 213/91

Sections 26 – 26.9 And Industrial Establishments, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851 Section 85 states that fall protection must be used where a worker is exposed to any of the following hazards:

  • Falling more than 3 metres;
  • Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment;
  • Falling into operating machinery;
  • Falling into water or another liquid;
  • Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object; or
  • Falling through an opening on a work surface.

Before deciding on what fall arrest systems your construction site needs, it is critical to liaise with a qualified safety specialist. This is important for a number of reasons. Not only will working with a professional ensure you are meeting the minimum standards for compliance – it will ensure that you go beyond this, demonstrating that you have taken every reasonable step to protect your staff. For more information on legal requirements in your area, be sure to consult our brief list of roof fall protection regulations in Canada.

At this point, always remember one of the most important lessons we at Skyline Group have to share: compliance does not always equal safety. This was demonstrated as recently as April 2023, when General Motors was given a $325,000 fine following the death of a worker who fell from a height of only 2.86 metres – a height that was actually below the legal threshold outlined in the legislation above.

 

Fall Protection in Construction: The Essentials

In Canada, most jurisdictions mandate specific fall protection measures in addition to personal protective equipment. These measures include:

  • Fixed barriers such as handrails and guardrails.
  • Surface opening protection like covers and guardrails.
  • Warning barriers/control zones to alert workers to hazards.
  • Fall or travel restraint systems to prevent reaching an edge.
  • Fall containment systems like safety nets.
  • Fall arrest systems designed to safely stop a fall in progress.

As mentioned, it is important to note that your rooftop safety protocols shouldn’t represent a mere box-ticking exercise where only the above solutions are implemented. To surpass minimum standards and truly ensure safety for workers at height, more advanced fall protection systems are crucial.

 

Advanced Fall Protection Systems While Working at Heights

At Skyline Group, we specialize in providing top-tier fall protection solutions tailored to meet and exceed industry standards, thereby enhancing safety on construction sites. Keep reading for an overview of our advanced fall protection essentials:

1. Lifeline Roof Access LaddersTiger Cats Stadium Platform Lifeline Roof Access Ladder

Our Lifeline Roof Access Ladders represent the pinnacle of safety for vertical access needs in construction. 

These ladders are equipped with robust stainless steel cables that allow workers to securely attach themselves during both ascent and descent, significantly reducing the risk of falls. Integrating such systems is essential in ensuring workers have safe and reliable access to different heights of a construction or working site.

2. Guardrail Systems
Guardrails on rooftop with sunrise in background

Skyline’s extensive range of guardrail systems includes both non-penetrating and fixed options. 

These guardrails and safety rails are essential for creating safe perimeters around hazardous areas such as roof edges, open hatches, and skylights. By installing roof barriers, we help secure the environment for workers and maintenance teams, safeguarding them against the risk of accidental falls.

3. Warning Line Systems
Roofline bumpline

Our RoofLine system is an exemplary solution for managing access to roof edges and areas of concern.

It prevents personnel from approaching hazardous zones without the need for extensive guardrail setups, thus offering a cost-effective and efficient fall protection solution. This system is particularly beneficial in areas where direct access to the roof edge is unnecessary, yet safety from potential falls must be maintained and a means of warning the worker being the main requirement.

4. Walkway Systems
Rooftop walkway system

Engineered to provide a stable and secure path across varying roof landscapes, walkways mitigate risks by directing foot traffic away from potential dangers such as skylights, vents, roof openings and uneven surfaces.

Implementing walkways as part of a comprehensive fall protection strategy ensures that workers can move safely and efficiently, focusing on their tasks without the added risk of navigating unpredictable rooftop layouts. This approach not only aligns with safety regulations but elevates the standard of worker protection.

 

Creating a Culture of Safety with Continuous Learning

While implementing fall arrest systems is a pivotal step in enhancing construction safety, their efficacy significantly depends on proper usage and awareness. Ongoing training and education are indispensable to ensure that construction workers are proficient in effectively utilizing these safety measures.

At Skyline Group, we drive the importance of education through our complimentary Lunch and Learn service, which provides tailored sessions on height safety requirements and best practices. These informative sessions are designed to equip workers with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate construction sites safely, emphasizing proactive safety measures beyond mere compliance with regulations.

 

Elevated Work: Elevated Safety – Contact Us Now

Always remember: legal compliance should be seen as not the ceiling, but the floor of your safety precautions in construction sites. To go beyond compliance into true safety, get started by browsing our full selection of safety solutions or reach out to one of our experts for a site consultation.

Beyond Compliance: Preventing Workplace Tragedies

Here at Skyline Group, we’re often presented with stark reminders of the human cost of avoidable accidents. More than that, we’re presented with grave indicators of the potentially tragic consequences of designing safety solutions around mere legal compliance rather than ensuring total safety for workers at heights. We invite commercial property owners, building managers, facilities professionals, and contractors to discover how our approach to height safety not only meets safety requirements but most importantly exceeds them.

Decades of experience in height safety has taught us that meeting legal compliance standards simply isn’t enough. Our approach continues to be validated by what we see happening around us, and a recent ruling in the province of Ontario is a tragic – yet important – example.

In May 2023, a leading industrial manufacturer was fined a total of $325,000 after a worker died at its facility when replacing a pneumatic cylinder on a milling machine. The province found that the worker wasn’t wearing any protection when they fell 2.86 metres onto a concrete floor, dying from their injuries. In this sad case, the Ministry of Labor stated that the employer failed to take every reasonable precaution to prevent the fatal injury from happening, including “ensuring the worker used an adequate means of fall protection” as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Protecting Lives: Learning from Example

Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and related regulations set crucial safety standards, including mandatory fall protection above three metres, that can be seen in safety standards across Canada. Yet, the tragic incident highlighted above reveals that serious accidents can occur even below these specified heights, emphasizing the need for vigilant safety measures.

While no two elevated workspaces are the same, we’ve found that many of our safety solutions offer universal benefits. Keep reading to learn more about these solutions, with real-life examples of how they have transformed safety levels for workers at height.

Lifeline Ladders: A Critical Measure

Access Ladder
  • The Solution: One of the most effective ways to prevent falls from heights is through the use of lifeline ladders. Our lifeline ladders are equipped with stainless steel cables that enable workers to attach themselves securely via a harness. This system provides continuous fall protection, ensuring that workers are safe as they ascend and descend.
  • The Result: At the Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario, we implemented lifeline ladders to enhance worker safety. The facility maintenance team required safe access to the stadium’s floodlights for routine upkeep. By installing modular aluminum lifeline ladders with a base platform and a mid-way resting platform, we provided a secure means of access that significantly reduced the risk of a fall.

Modular Access Ladders: Where Flexibility Meets Safety

  • The Solution: Unlike steel or fully welded roof ladders or makeshift solutions like portable ladders, fixed modular access ladders can provide a safer alternative to gaining access to the rooftop. Skyline Group’s selection of modular aluminum fixed ladders are designed for easy installation and can be fully customized according to the needs of any elevated workspace. Fundamentally, these solutions provide safe and stable access to work areas at height, minimizing the risks of falls.
  • The Result: At BC Hydro, we addressed the challenge of navigating various roof levels by installing fixed modular aluminum access ladders. These ladders, combined with a safety gate, ensured that only authorized personnel could access the rooftop. The modular design allowed for easy transportation and installation, significantly reducing labour hours while enhancing the safety and efficiency of maintenance operations.

Guardrails & Barriers: Consistent Protection

  • The Solution: Guardrails and barriers are essential for creating safe work environments at height. These systems provide continuous protection, preventing workers from accidentally stepping off edges or into hazardous areas. Our non-penetrating guardrail systems are particularly beneficial as they do not compromise the integrity of the roof structure.
  • The Result: In addition to step ladders and access ladders, we installed non-penetrating guardrails at the McCain Foods facility. These guardrails created a safe perimeter around the rooftop, ensuring that workers could move freely without the risk of falling. The robust construction of the guardrails also ensured longevity and reliability, even in harsh weather conditions.

Creating a Culture of Safety: Training & Support

  • The Solution: Beyond installing safety equipment, it is crucial to ensure that workers are adequately trained in its use. Skyline Group offers comprehensive training programs that educate workers on the correct use of safety equipment and the importance of adhering to safety protocols. These programs are designed to foster a culture of safety within organizations, ensuring that safety is always a top priority.
  • The Result: As part of a significant design project for a commercial building in Montreal, Skyline Group delivered tailored and highly comprehensive training on the hazards that come with climbing to a rooftop via a hatch. This allowed architects to make informed decisions on creating a safe and compliant means of accessing the roof via hatch openings. Beyond that, this training facilitated a culture of safety throughout the lifespan of the project, and throughout the organization as a whole.

Preventing Workplace Tragedies: Your Responsibility

The lessons we must learn as members of the building community are clear: achieving safety in elevated workspaces demands more than just meeting minimum legal standards – it demands a commitment to exceeding them.

At Skyline Group, we’re passionate about pushing the boundaries of true safety in workplaces throughout North America. Partnering with a height safety specialist can drive positive change and consign such tragic cases to the past.

Elevated Work, Elevated Safety: Speak to an Expert Now

Ensuring compliance with minimum legal standards isn’t enough. Here at Skyline, we provide the expertise, solutions, and services you need to go beyond compliance and into true safety. To get started, browse our full selection of safety solutions or reach out to one of our safety experts for a consultation.

A Culture of Safety at BC Hydro: A Case Study

The Challenge

After reviewing the roof layout and gathering a clear understanding of how the maintenance team accesses and navigates the rooftop, height safety solutions that reduce the risk of a fall were needed.

The Solution

Skyline designed a modular aluminum roof access ladder that limited public access while providing a quick and easy installation, incorporating a non-penetrating roof guardrail system configuration to create a safe enclosure when working near the rooftop’s edge.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

BC Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation owned by the government and the people of British Columbia, Canada. It generates and delivers electricity to 95% of BC’s population and serves over five million people. That big responsibility demands a simple, straightforward mission and a vision guided by six values:

  1. We are safe.
  2. We are here for our customers.
  3. We act with integrity and respect.
  4. We are one team.
  5. We are forward-thinking.
  6. We include everyone.

With the industry often working at heights or in dangerous environments, it is no surprise that safety is one of BC Hydro’s six core values. When reviewing how the facility maintenance team can best manage the flow of personnel while climbing and navigating the rooftop, they reached out to the roof safety specialists at Skyline.

ELEVATED WORK: THE CHALLENGES

Skyline’s work commenced with a walkthrough of one of their sites, where a building’s rooftop required safe access. With the rooftop having various levels/elevations, multiple ladders were needed to reach each height safely. The primary ladder used to ascend was also available to the public from the ground floor, so ensuring that only those authorized to be on the rooftop gained access was critical.

Once on the rooftop, navigating the roof also posed a few challenges as you are required to navigate around the various RTU units. There would be no concern if these units, such as HVAC systems and ducts, were in the middle of the roof, far from the edge. However, with the need for personnel to work and walk around the units only a foot from the roof’s edge, the BC Hydro team was aware of British Columbia’s Occupational Safety Code requirements.

ELEVATED SAFETY: OUR SOLUTIONS

When it came to creating a safe climb, every time, Skyline recommended a modular aluminum access ladder incorporating a gate for the primary access ladder on the ground floor. The ladder gate ensured that only those who had the approval to access the roof or had an approved employee with them gained access to the rooftop.

The ladder design also included D grab bars to facilitate ascending and descending. When climbing from one rooftop to another, some ladders included a cage for added safety. Multiple ladders arrived in aluminum modular components for easy transportation and quick installation.

After reviewing the rooftop layout and where foot traffic is required to accomplish maintenance tasks, the team specified a non-penetrating steel galvanized guardrail system. The system was installed where passage or work would be close to the roof edge (within 6 feet), creating a safety barrier preventing a fall from dangerous heights. Including anchor points wasn’t an option as BC Hydro wanted to avoid a fall proactively rather than have a system in place for when one does fall.

The thickness of the material and robust construction caught the eye of the maintenance team, while the modularity of the solution and its capability to be easily fitted for installation on-site made life easy for the installers. With the solution being non-penetrating, no intrusions were made to the rooftop, reducing the risk of leaks or the need to repair the rooftop after installation. The modularity of the unit also means that the guardrail can expand and grow with the needs of the rooftop.

Finally, the design of the non-penetrating guardrail system considered the roof access ladder, creating a safe barrier as you approach the ladder to descend to the floor.

THE TRUSTED CHOICE: PROJECT OUTCOMES

The BC Hydro project successfully implemented comprehensive safety measures to address the unique challenges of rooftop access and navigation. By integrating modular aluminum access ladders with safety gates and non-penetrating guardrail systems, Skyline Group provided secure and efficient solutions that ensured only authorized personnel could access critical areas.

The installation of robust guardrails close to rooftop edges significantly minimized the risk of falls, enhancing overall safety for maintenance teams while adhering to British Columbia’s Occupational Safety Code. This strategic approach not only safeguarded workers but also maintained the integrity of the rooftop structure.

Understanding Different Types of Commercial Roofing Materials

Understanding different types of commercial roofing materials can be a challenging endeavour. However, taking the time to fully appreciate the differences between them can help building managers and commercial building owners make an informed decision – not only on cost and ease of installation, but also on the levels of safety they provide. In the latest learning resource from Skyline, we help you make an informed decision.

An Introduction to Commercial Roofing Materials

As an architect, building manager or property owner, your choice of roofing material could be one of the most important commercial building decisions you’ll make. The decision will depend on a number of factors, with a huge range of choices engineered according to where you are located within Canada.

With all of the choices out there, it is important to understand each material’s unique characteristics, advantages and limitations. However, before you address these points, it is crucial that you ask yourself the following questions…

  1. How do different roofing materials impact your building’s energy efficiency?
  2. How should climate and building usage influence your choice of roofing material?
  3. How could my choice of building materials impact maintenance operations and costs over time?
  4. Will my decision allow my building to qualify as a sustainable building?

These are just some of the many questions you should consider before making a large purchasing decision. Next, check out our overview of the most common commercial roofing materials, which can help you answer these important questions.

An Overview of Commercial Roofing Materials

While the market continues to innovate with new commercial roofing materials, we typically deal with clients who are using one of the following top 5 options: Built-Up Roofing, Single-Ply Membrane Roofing, Modified Bitumen Roofing, Metal Roofing and Green Roofing. Let’s look at those in a little more detail.

1. Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-Up Roofing, commonly referred to as BUR, is perhaps the most common kind of roofing material we see in our day-to-day work. Also known as ‘tar and gravel’ roofing, this comprises multiple layers of asphalt-saturated felts. These layers alternate with bitumen and are covered with mineral or gravel granules. Here are some of the reasons that make this option so popular:

  • Impressive durability compared to other materials
  • Strong waterproofing properties
  • Enhanced grip for improved worker safety
  • Strong ability to withstand high levels of foot traffic

This material is most commonly used in flat roofing or low-slope protection, and also provides strong protection against general weathering and UV radiation.

2. Metal Roofing

In the vast majority of cases, metal roofing systems are simply standing seam metal roofs or metal panels. Naturally, metal is a primary choice where durability, longevity and aesthetic appeal are priorities. Aside from that, this commercial roofing material opens up a world of choice, particularly in the range of finishes available including copper, aluminum and steel. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of metal roofing:
 
  • Low maintenance requirements compared to alternative materials
  • Coated finishes can improve overall durability and energy efficiency 
  • A recyclable option, adding to the green credentials of a building 
  • Strong fire, wind and hail resistance, improving general levels of structural safety
Highly popular in both steep-slope and low-slope applications, this is a top choice for the aesthetic and sustainability benefits it offers.

 

3. Single-Ply Membrane Roofing 

Lightweight, flexible and easy to install, single-ply membrane roofing is among the most popular and safest options available on today’s market. Under this category are three key types:

  • TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer)

While TPO and PVC membranes must be heat-welded or adhered to the surface of your commercial roof, EPDM membranes can be easily installed using mechanical fasteners or an adhesive. Flexible, weather resistant and offering superb UV protection, EPDM in particular can provide a safer installation process, given that no heat-welding is required.

4. Green Roofing

Green roofing has emerged as one of the biggest roofing trends of the decade, and with the range of benefits this commercial roofing material offers, it’s not hard to see why. Stormwater management, energy efficiency, aesthetics – the benefits are endless when considering a green roof solution. Here are some of the key advantages:
 
  • Strong aesthetic appeal
  • Provision of habitats for local wildlife
  • Potential green tax incentives
  • Building efficiency & energy savings
Whilst there are many benefits, green roofing does come with its caveats, particularly around safety. Due to their vegetative nature, these systems demand a highly specialized design, with proper routine maintenance, drainage and irrigation to ensure the safety of workers at height and the integrity of the building as a whole. 
 

5. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Asphalt-based, modified bitumen waterproofing utilizes modifiers such as APP (atactic polypropylene) or SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) in order to improve weather resistance, flexibility and durability. 

As with green roofing, this particular choice of roofing material does come with added safety concerns, primarily due to the fact that torching or hot asphalt is used during installation.

The Significance of Choosing the Right Roofing Material

Your choice of roofing material shouldn’t depend on aesthetics alone. As a building manager or commercial building owner, it is important that your decision also takes into consideration worker safety, as well as your business’s bottom line. Below we have outlined some of the key concerns you should consider for improved worker safety:

  • Safe passage: Slips, trips and falls are among the most common workplace accidents in Canada. When deciding on a material, consider how maintenance teams and workers at height can journey across your rooftop safely. The level of grip on the roofing material and slip protection are crucial to bear in mind.
  • Installation processes: If you’re using your own team to install a roofing material, always consider how that job can be done safely. Where hot works are required, ensure that your staff are adequately trained and prepared.
  • Durability: Over the years, we’ve seen many safety incidents that have arised due to wear and tear – falling structures, weak structures and more can lead to potentially fatal falls. When deciding on a material, be sure to make durability a priority.
  • Design: Simply adjusting the design and layout of the rooftop can help in reducing the chance of injury. For example, placing HVAC units away from the edge of the roof will make a safer maintenance process. A high parapet wall can also act as a safety guardrail, creating a perimeter while on the rooftop. But this can also make it challenging to remove snow during the winter months.
  • Non-Penetrating: If you are looking to install a safety solution like a guardrail or crossover stepladder, with a new roof membrane do you opt for a non-penetrating solution? This will ensure compliance and safety, while also keeping your new rooftop intact, and free from potential leaks when compared to a penetrating solution. OR are you opting for a steel roof, resulting in the requirement of a clamping-based solution in order to create a levelled walkway system.

Making an Informed Decision

When it comes to making an informed decision about creating a safe, and secure environment on your new commercial or industrial rooftop, don’t fall victim to guessing. Only by consulting with a qualified roofing and safety expert can you be sure that your decision has been made with all due considerations. With that in mind, our safety experts are on standby to share their experiences and expertise.

Elevated Work. Elevated Safety.

Here at Skyline, we use decades of experience to protect people, companies and brands. For further advice on improving the levels of safety in your elevated work area, reach out to one of our safety experts. Alternatively, browse our full selection of rooftop safety solutions.

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.

20221019_071709

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.

The Benefits of Modular Rooftop Safety Solutions

Throughout North America, property managers and commercial building owners are embracing modular rooftop safety solutions on an industry-wide scale. In the latest learning resource from Skyline Group, our safety experts examine why modular safety products have seen such a rise in popularity.

Here at Skyline Group, decades of experience has taught us that when it comes to investing in rooftop safety solutions, property managers and building owners have a number of concerns before proceeding with installation. 

 

Rooftop Safety Solutions: Understanding the Pain Points

Whilst these concerns will differ according to the specific safety requirements of a given rooftop, we often receive inquiries on the following challenges:

  • Cost: For the vast majority of organizations, installing rooftop fall protection systems represents a major investment. In many cases, we have seen instances where safety solutions are installed to meet the minimum requirements of Canadian provincial legislation – a decision driven largely by concerns around the expenses they entail. This presents challenges of its own, where a mere ‘box-ticking’ approach to legal compliance often leaves significant safety gaps for workers at height. When reviewing welded solutions, there is also additional labor and transportation related costs that can go unnoticed.
  • Site disruption: Another significant consideration for property managers and commercial building owners surrounds the potential disruption that installation work can have on their day-to-day business and maintenance operations. In today’s challenging market, downtime represents lost profits and lost opportunities, which can make investing in true safety an afterthought.
  • Installation time: Beyond the general site disruption, other concerns surround the installation task itself, particularly around how long that can take. This is particularly true where penetrating and fully welded solutions are employed, that often require significant changes to a rooftop layout before the systems are installed. Or the requirement of repairs to be done once the installation is completed.
  • Technical expertise: Finally, we have worked with many decision-makers who are concerned about the difficulty of installing these systems. The fact is that many organizations do not have the facility or technical expertise required to install complex safety solutions on dangerous rooftop environments. Add to the mix a complex regulated environment and being safe just isn’t as easy as it should be. 

In today’s busy and time-constrained world, these concerns are perfectly legitimate. However, an industry-wide shift is currently underway, where modular rooftop safety solutions are increasingly seen as a solution that can help navigate these common challenges. 

 

How Modular Rooftop Safety Systems Can Help

walkways, guardrails, and access ladders on rooftop

 

At Skyline Group, our modular solutions are becoming the primary choice for building owners, specifiers, contractors and building professionals across North America. With these systems offering significant benefits over welded alternatives. In the following sections, we break down these benefits.

1. Modular Solutions are Easier to Transport 

Across virtually all industries, delivery and transportation fees are on the rise. Where large systems are being delivered – such as access ladders or walkways – these costs are often expected to increase year over year.

Where modular solutions are concerned, this challenge is minimized. With these products coming flat-packed, transportation and delivery is a simple process that requires minimal space to transport or lift to a rooftop. Beyond that, their lightweight, flatpack nature means that your team can easily carry those systems to the rooftop to be installed, substantially reducing the level of time and effort involved. In some cases we have seen customers save on crane rental fees to facilitate the installation process by carrying the modular components through the service elevator and/or hatch (or doorway to the rooftop).

2. Modular Rooftop Installations Are Easy to Adjust & Adapt

caged rooftop access ladder

Time and time again, we’re seeing ease of installation as a deciding factor for property managers and commercial building owners when opting for modular rooftop safety systems. Let’s take a closer look:

  • No technicians required: By opting for a modular system, you can proceed in confidence knowing that your facility or maintenance teams will be able to complete the installation with ease. That being said, having a third party contractor install the solution will be a quick and easy process.
  • Installation manuals supplied: All of our modular solutions come with detailed installation manuals, aiding in a prompt and compliant installation. 
  • Costs reduced: This ease of installation brings new benefits when it comes to installation costs. With the ease of handling, transportation and installation, you see substantial savings in your overall project costs. While also enabling the capabilities of meeting strict deadlines.

We’re also seeing a greater focus on the materials used, and that has a major impact on how our solutions are transported and installed. For example, a small team generally prefers to work with aluminum than with heavier, harder-to-manage alternatives. For example the handling of an aluminum modular access ladder is much simpler than a welded steel access ladder.

3. Modular Rooftop Installations Are Easy to Adjust & Adapt

Skylight Railings from Skyline Group

Workers at height may require various adjustments to be made on-site to rooftop safety installations in order for a solution to fit. Where this may entail significant cost and effort with penetrating and welded solutions, this is fortunately not a concern with modular alternatives. In the event that your roof layout grows with the needs of your business, a modular system can also adapt and grow with your needs. This is not as simple when you have a welded solution already installed.

The fact is that with modular systems, adjustment and adaptation is a simple affair, requiring minimal manpower. This empowers property managers, building owners and contractors with the flexibility they need to ensure the highest levels of safety and design throughout the life of the building.

4. Minimal Changes to a Rooftop

rooftop guardrails with sunrise on the background

Where welded solutions are being installed, significant changes should be expected to a rooftop, with higher levels of noise and general disruption. This can also bring higher levels of cost in the event that any maintenance work or repair work may be required.

This is another area where modular height safety solutions can offer tangible benefits. Whilst disruption is minimal, their temporary nature means that they will have minimal impact on the structural composition of the rooftop and allow for continuity in maintaining the rooftop units.

 

Safety Beyond Compliance 

The benefits of modular rooftop safety systems are significant. However, the most significant advantage of these solutions lies in the fact that they don’t only meet provincial safety standards – they go beyond that, ensuring total safety and fall protection for workers at height. 

 

Skyline: Protecting People, Companies & Brands

Elevated safety, the trusted choice. Work with Skyline Group today and ensure your rooftop goes beyond compliance to true safety. To get started, speak to a safety expert today.

High-Slope Rooftop Safety Solution: A Case Study

The Challenge

A high-slope rooftop created an elevated working environment fraught with risk, with facility maintenance teams facing a number of fall hazards.

The Solution

A comprehensive package of safety solutions including a walkway with guardrail system, a hatch guardrail system and a fixed ladder.

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.”

Elevated Safety Series: Our Mission & Vision with Vincenzo Cutrone

Across Canada and beyond, rooftop safety is undergoing immense change. Few understand these changes better than Vincenzo Cutrone, Marketing Manager at Skyline Group. In the first of our Elevated Safety Series, we sit down with Vince to discuss Skyline’s guiding mission and vision, and how they align with changing safety needs across North America.

 

Tell us about your story with Skyline Group. What motivated you to specialize in rooftop safety?

“For me, the decision to join the team at Skyline Group was driven by that core principle – that core need – to ensure safety for workers at height. 

“For myself, when I’m doing some DIY work at home, safety is always a concern. For our customers, who are always working at height – that concern is all the more significant. They work in inherently dangerous environments, and all it takes is one fall to change their lives forever. 

“These workers face all of the usual distractions that people like me face – communicating with customers, checking emails, carrying equipment. On top of that, they’re dealing with the potentially lethal challenges of wind, rain and those other hazards that arise from working at height, and that represents a dangerous combination. Falling through an open hatch or falling off an elevated platform can have tragic, real-life consequences, all of which are avoidable.

“Thinking about the impact of rooftop safety incidents on companies, individuals and families makes us ask ourselves how we can be part of the change. It’s all about looking at how we ensure our clients don’t discover safety by accident. The key is in being proactive, and not just reactive. 

“Consider this – many people may suggest that staff at-height should wear safety harnesses at all times. To that, we say that the fall itself shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and that’s really what I and the wider Skyline Group want to get at in the work we do. How do we help the industry? How do we change perspectives around safety compliance, versus being safe? Those are the questions that drove my decision to join the company.”

 

How does Skyline Group’s vision align with the evolving needs of rooftop safety in North America?

“Our vision is to become the North American trusted choice for safe elevated work areas. Our mission coincides with that: to create safe elevated work areas that protect people, companies and brands. So – how does this play into the wider industry?

“Put simply, when we want to specify a solution for an application, we want to base our advice on a foundation of trust, first and foremost. Our customers want to work with a company that can be relied upon for its expertise, its experience and the know-how they need to create solutions that are tailored to their elevated workspace.

Rooftop construction safety foreman with safety vest, helmet, clipboard, and cellphone

“As an example, let’s say that you’re a commercial property owner, and you have a HVAC contractor conducting maintenance on your rooftop. You may not know what the rules and regulations are around that particular environment. Or, you may have been warned by one of your workers about non-compliant aspects of your rooftop, or safety gaps. Of course, you may be simply unaware of these issues as a whole. Regardless of what option applies to you, if there is an injury, you’re at fault. 

“Our mission and vision seek to go beyond that level of understanding. We try to make sure users of our client’s elevated work areas go home safe at the end of the day to their families. 

“On top of that, we’re also seeking to protect our customers and their brand integrity from those hazards. If you’re a big brand in your community, the last thing you need are safety concerns. If you do have an accident, you’ll find it all the more harder to recruit staff. If you’re seen as not prioritizing safety, you risk losing out on talent, and losing out on potential business. In this sense, we aren’t just protecting people – we’re protecting companies and brands.

“It’s all about creating safer elevated work environments, and a lot of that is down to the information we can offer as an industry expert. You can rely on us to understand your roof environment before you. It’s not just a phone call – it extends to pictures, looking at the landscape of your roof, to On-Site Safety Consultations and ideas as to how you can create a safer environment. 

“We’re on a constant journey of improvement in terms of understanding how workers access areas at height, and how they can do it safely. That’s why it is so critical for us to be there, in-person, to understand those challenges better. You just never know what you’re going to encounter.”

 

What are the most significant changes you’ve observed in rooftop safety standards in recent years?

“We’re seeing a lot of technology being applied, and roofs are becoming busier and busier, regardless of their shape or size. Data centers are a great example – these facilities require a lot of cooling, requiring large HVAC installations on the roof. Meanwhile, a lot of green buildings would have solar panels on their rooftop, and that creates new hazards that weren’t present before. 

Two rooftop workers walking on the rooftop of a commercial building

“Wherever this kind of technology is used, you’re restricting access in and around the roof, creating a pathway that might require workers to be closer to the edge. Creating a safe distance here isn’t always possible, so using a guardrail and walkway system, for example, ensures a dedicated pathway around those panels, whilst also providing a means for maintenance teams to access them. Technology means possibilities – but in the world of rooftops, it also means hazards. Codes and regulations just haven’t caught up yet with this new trend.”

 

What Innovations at Skyline are setting new standards in the industry?

Let’s look at the new challenge we just touched upon, in terms of rooftops becoming more crowded with new technology. We’re looking at how we can provide solutions to meet that, using our inventory of solutions to minimize risk. It isn’t just about protecting against a fall – it’s about stopping a worker from ever reaching that point.

On a general level, our modular solutions are becoming solutions of choice for our customers, and it’s not hard to see why. Easier to transport, easier to install, easier to adjust and adapt versus a welded system. Modularity makes it really easy to put systems in place quickly, that aren’t only compliant, but completely safe. 

We look at how we can provide a solution that’s easily and quickly installed, that won’t take days or weeks to install. Months down the line, if you want to change an aspect of your rooftop, our solutions allow our customers to do that. In that sense, we’re constantly moving along with the evolving needs of our customers. Whether you’re installing these systems yourself or using a contractor, you can rest assured that you’ll be making significant labor savings. 

We’re also seeing a greater focus on the materials used, and that has a major impact on how our solutions are transported and installed. For example, a small team generally prefers aluminum to working with than the heavier, harder-to-manage steel alternative. 

 

What recent project has allowed Skyline to drive change in this area?

One example that comes to mind is a large school we worked with in Ontario, in the process of embracing green technologies. They wanted to cover the roof with solar panels, so much so that there wouldn’t be enough space to navigate the roof. 

When looking at the drawings of the rooftop and how the solar panels would be installed and located, we discovered that it would be quite difficult for maintenance crews to navigate across different rooftops. Maintenance teams would have been forced to walk around the edges of the rooftop to access other areas, or to access the solar panels or any HVAC units. 

Right away, we recommended a walkway solution that would ensure safe passage along the edges of the rooftop, with a guardrail system that would protect against slips and falls. 

As individuals, we try to take the path of least resistance, especially when carrying tools, all adding to the risk. By forcing a safe, enclosed pathway, we guarantee a safe passage. 

 

How does Skyline navigate different regulations in Canada and the USA?

We navigate these challenges thanks to our dedicated team of safety specialists that guide us in the decisions we make, and they’re supported by fantastic Project Management and engineering teams with a deep understanding of safety regulations across each province.

Canadian maple leaf on flag with judge gavel on flag

We have a comprehensive resource document that guides us in terms of these differing codes, and helps us understand how these codes may impact any of the rooftops we’re working on, applying those rules to the rooftop itself. For us, understanding the rules is a second nature reflex. What changes is the application itself – all roofs are structured differently. Getting creative in terms of providing solutions to those challenges is what we’re all about. 

If you’re a Building Manager or building owner, contractor or someone who specifies solutions on a roof or an architect, the rules can be quite daunting and difficult to understand. However, we make that easy. To get started, feel free to reach out to me or a member of the team to better understand the rules impacting your elevated workspace. 

 

Discover Skyline – Elevated Work. Elevated Safety.™

Don’t discover safety by accident. Here at Skyline, we’re inviting you to join us on our mission, moving one step closer to changing the narrative on rooftop safety. To get started, browse our full range of safety solutions. Alternatively, reach out to an expert or find out more about our popular Lunch and Learn training programs. 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Roof Access Ladders in Canada

Here in Canada and across the USA, thousands of workers face a significant risk of injury from falls, often from heights of as little as 3 meters. This fact not only demonstrates the prevalence of these accidents, but also underpins the importance of ensuring safe access to elevated workspaces. In the Ultimate Guide to Roof Access Ladders in Canada, we explore the range of solutions currently provided by Skyline Group, examining how they enhance safety standards and meet compliance with provincial and national safety regulations. 

In North America, the figures surrounding falls from height paint a sobering picture. Every year, approximately 14,000 workers suffer injuries as a result of these accidents, with a majority of incidents involving ladders. 

Roof Access Ladders in Canada: Steps to Safety

The cost of these falls is significant. In British Columbia alone in 2019, 1,077 insurance claims for ladder falls were accepted across various industries, with 325 serious injuries and four deaths. These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the avoidable human cost of these incidents. Behind each figure is a life changed and a family deeply affected.

To shift this narrative towards a safer future, it’s crucial for property managers and building owners to understand the range of roof access ladder solutions available and to choose the right system that ensures genuine safety for workers at height.

1. Fixed Roof Access Ladders: The 7000 Series
fixed roof access ladder from skyline group

 

Where safe access to an elevated work area is required, Fixed Roof Access ladders are a bare essential. Engineered to ensure a high level of safety and compliance for accessing rooftops, hatches, roof spaces and maintenance platforms; our access ladders are engineered to ensure a simple and seamless on-site installation, saving on time and costs. 

Be it for routine maintenance or emergency situations, these ladders offer uncompromising safety and durability. The integration of robust aluminum with meticulously designed grippy rungs embodies Skyline’s mantra of ‘Elevated Work. Elevated Safety’, setting new benchmarks in rooftop access.

  • 7001 Series: Designed for primary access to various levels, this vertical access ladder with handrails is supported by modular components for quick and easy on-site installation. This product comes with a range of optional features, including a removable door to prevent unauthorized use, guardrails, ladder cages, and walkway/platform systems, ensuring comprehensive safety from ground to rooftop.
  • 7002 Series: This unique product has been specially tailored to enhance height safety on rooftops where parapets are present. The series is equipped with a parapet mount and a step-over platform with handrails, addressing the safety needs when the parapet is 7 inches or greater from the roof surface.
  • 7003 Series: This vertical access ladder with lead on handrails lends particular value for roofs with or without parapets. Included with this solution is a short walkway, ensuring users are safely distanced from the roof edge upon exiting the ladder and stepping onto the rooftop.

Fixed Roof Access Ladders: Benefits & Applications

  • Ground to roof access: For buildings where routine rooftop access is necessary, the 7000 Series provides a safe and reliable route from the ground to the roof. Creating a safe climb, every time.
  • Varying roof levels: In structures with multiple roof levels or complex designs, these ladders offer a seamless solution to navigate the different elevations safely. Its modular capabilities make it easy to design and configure a solution that best meets your rooftop’s needs.
  • Internal mezzanines and platforms: For internal spaces with elevated platforms or mezzanines, the 7000 Series ensures safe and compliant access.
  • Access to canopies: Whether it’s for maintenance or inspection, the ladders provide secure access to canopy structures.
  • Elevated steel structures: In settings where access to elevated steel structures, cranes, or silos is required, the robust and durable design of the 7000 Series ladders comes into play.
  • Customization and scalability: The modular design allows for additional sections to be added as required, ensuring that the ladder system grows with your needs.

2. Lifeline Roof Access Ladders
lifeline ladder from skyline group

Modular and constructed from high-quality aluminum, Skyline’s selection of Lifeline Roof Access Ladders provide the highest levels of safety; both when ascending and descending. 

The fact is that depending on your application and the provincial regulations you’re subject to, ladder cages may simply not be enough to meet safety requirements. This is why Lifeline Access Ladders include a stainless steel cable, ensuring that personnel are safely secured to the ladder throughout their climb, minimizing the risk of a fall-related injury. Once workers and facility maintenance teams are on the roof safely, they can then easily detach themselves from the ladder.

Lifeline Roof Access Ladders: Benefits & Applications

  • Industrial and commercial buildings: For structures where height and safety regulations demand robust fall protection and added safety, these ladders provide a secure access solution.
  • Complex roof structures: In buildings with complex roof designs or where multiple levels of access are required, the adjustable and modular nature of these ladders makes them an ideal choice.
  • Maintenance and inspection: For maintenance personnel and inspectors who require regular access to rooftops and elevated structures, the Lifeline Ladders offer a safe and compliant means of ascent and descent.
  • Emergency access: In situations where secure and rapid rooftop access is crucial, the Lifeline Ladders serve as a reliable solution, ensuring safety in critical moments.

3. Ships Access Ladders

ships access ladder from skyline group

Manufactured using high-grade structural aluminum, our array of ship access ladders can be used in various applications requiring lightweight and high-strength rooftop access. This is a common safety solution where traffic is more routine, as it is much easier to climb a ships access ladder with tools or equipment in your hands than a fixed access ladder. When compared to a standard step ladder system, the slope of a ships ladder allows for it to be installed in tight spaces with a limited footprint.

Our array of ships ladders can be used in various applications requiring lightweight and high-strength rooftop access. They can also provide safe access for when a door or window is obstructing the possibility of installing a traditional fixed access ladder. The steps on these ladders are designed with ruggedness in mind, ensuring they can withstand the demands of high-traffic areas. This feature is especially crucial during unfavourable weather conditions, providing a safe and stable platform even when wet or icy. The steps are also thoughtfully designed to allow snow and ice to melt through the grates, ensuring they remain clear and safe for use year-round.

Ideal for spaces where traditional fixed access ladders are impractical, these systems can be non-penetrating freestanding or penetrating/fixed, and offer a rust-proof and easy-to-assemble solution. When looking to navigate over obstructions like ducts, where a limited footprint is available, review our array of crossover bridge systems.

Ships Access Ladders: Benefits & Applications

    • Access over obstructions: Ideal for scenarios where traditional ladders cannot be used due to obstructions like doors, windows, or architectural features.
    • Roof hatch access: Provides safe and efficient access to roof hatches, particularly in tight spaces where conventional ladders are impractical.
    • Elevated structures: Suitable for accessing elevated steel structures that require regular maintenance or visits, where secure and robust access is needed.
    • Complex architectural designs: The ability to tailor the ladders to specific measurements makes them perfect for buildings with unique architectural designs, ensuring safety without compromising structural and aesthetic integrity.
    • Maintenance & inspection access: Offers a reliable solution for maintenance personnel and inspectors who require regular, safe access to hard-to-reach areas.

4. Extension Ladder Stabilizer: The 5020 Series

The extension ladder stabilizer is a non-penetrating system that can be installed on roofs with or without a parapet and is considered to be both a permanent or temporary solution to gaining safe access to the roof when using a standard extension ladder. 

Extension Ladder Stablizer: Benefits & Applications

    • Rooftop equipment & fixture access: Provides a safe method to access rooftop installations, HVAC systems, and other equipment requiring routine maintenance or inspection.
    • Temporary access needs: Ideal for scenarios where temporary access to the rooftop is required, offering a solution that is both safe and non-intrusive to the roofing material. While yielding the flexibility of allowing anyone who has access to a contractor extension ladder, access to the rooftop. With the added benefit of the ladder being removed from the building structure when not in use.
    • Diverse roof structures: Suitable for roofs with or without parapets, the stabilizer’s versatile design ensures a secure and reliable ladder setup in a wide range of architectural contexts.
    • Emergency situations: In urgent scenarios where rapid and secure rooftop access is crucial, the stabilizer ensures that extension ladders can be safely and quickly deployed.

Aluminum vs Steel: Deciding on Material 

Deciding on the type of roof access leader you need will lead on to the next consideration: what material is best?

The two choices here are steel and aluminum, and both materials will ensure you meet compliance requirements. However, you can expect some variation in lead times, installation requirements and maintenance needs. To help you narrow your choices, our Comparison Guide on these two materials contains all the information you need. 

Getting Started

As a building manager or owner, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of those who work at heights rests on your shoulders. Navigating through the maze of safety regulations and finding the perfect roof access solution can be daunting. But with Skyline Group, you are not alone in this journey. Check out the section below for guidance on how to get started.

Ensure Safe Roof Access with Skyline Group

Here at Skyline Group, our expertise is not just in crafting superior safety solutions, but also in understanding the unique needs of your rooftop. To enhance your levels of safety, get started by browsing our products. Alternatively, contact us for an expert consultation. 

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.
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