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Falls through fragile roof surfaces are one of the biggest causes of serious injuries. Effective precautions must be taken for all work on or near fragile surfaces, no matter how short the duration. Accidents can be avoided as long as suitable equipment is used and those carrying out the work are provided with adequate information, training, and supervision.
Access to a fragile roof is often required for maintenance, inspection, cleaning, or general repairs. Fragile roofs are typically found in factories and warehouses and can include:
The principles of working on fragile surfaces are exactly the same as any other form of work at height, you need to apply the hierarchy of control to ensure that the work can be carried out safely.
The preferred option is to avoid working at height, but this isn’t always possible, so the next consideration should be to look at methods that could allow work to be carried out without actually stepping onto the fragile roof itself, such as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).
If access onto the fragile roof cannot be avoided, you need to conduct a thorough Risk Assessment and look at how the area can be accessed safely, and then put into place measures that can alleviate the distance and consequences of a potential fall.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as protecting the edge of the roof with a guardrail, using staging or platforms with edge protection on the roof to spread the load, or by protecting fragile roof lights and skylights with a cover to prevent access onto the surface itself.
When access is needed from the eaves to the ridge, mesh walkways spread the load across the support battens, giving workers a safer working position.
Mesh walkways are a great option when access is needed to run from the eaves to the ridge. It provides the benefit of spreading the weight across the support battens, allowing the workers to confidently move along the full length of the system. Opting for a solution that is made from high-grade aluminium ensures the structure is robust, lightweight, and easily transportable.
Board-Walk, our open mesh walkway system, has been designed specifically to allow work to be carried out safely on fragile and industrial roofs. The system allows access from the eaves to the ridge, whilst spreading the load on support battens to provide the user with a safer working position. The system is lightweight and easily portable, making it ideal for use on fragile roofs. The Board-Walk system is compliant with EN12811-1.
Board-Walk is modular and features 1m, 2m, 3m & 4m sections that are quickly and easily linked together and an integral full-length work positioning line. Single or double-sided handrails, a roof hook, and a valley stop end are all available as extras.