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 Bumpline or Warning Line 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 safety 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.