Rooftop Safety

The Ultimate Guide to Roof Access Ladders in Canada

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. 

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