Height safety and roof access systems come in many shapes and sizes.
Depending on your building’s unique requirements, there are any number of height safety and fall protection components that can be used to keep those needing to access your roof safe. Height safety engineers have strong relationships with the leading manufacturers and importers of safety system components. This means our system designs will always put your workers’ safety first.
Your height safety system can be designed using a variety of components. Each system we design considers the individual requirements of your building as well as your roof access needs. Our experienced estimators and designers then work to put together a best practice system that meets those needs and achieves the highest level of worker safety.
A roof anchor point is the single most common component used in height safety and fall protection systems. Depending on the access needs of a roof or other working at heights situation, a system could be comprised of merely a single anchor point or multiple anchor points a worker can transition between as required during their work.
There are different types of anchor points that are suitable for different roof surface materials including steel, concrete and tiles. Anchor points work worth a lanyard and shock absorber to arrest a fall should one occur. The lanyard and shock absorber attach to the anchor point at one end and a fall arrest harness, worn by the worker, at the other. Combined with adequate working at heights training and the worker’s personal protective equipment (PPE), roof anchor points work to reduce the risks associated with falls from height.
Static lines are a more advanced form of fall protection, but one that still requires the workers to wear a harness as part of its operation. Static lines offer one main advantage over anchor points in that they make it easier of a worker to relocate or reposition themselves along the length of the line without having to transition between anchor points as they move.
A static line itself is a tensioned steel cable that is strung around the edge of a roof or other working at heights area where there is the risk of a fall occurring. A worker connects to the static line via a shuttle. The shuttle connects to a lanyard and shock absorber in the same manner an anchor point does.
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Guardrails are used to provide a permanent, physical barrier between an area where work is being conducted at height and an edge where there is the risk of a fall. Having a physical barrier providing fall protection offers a big advantage over both anchor points and static line systems in that workers do not need to use a harness when working in areas where a guardrail is present.
Height Safety Engineers use a modular guardrail system that provide compliant protection and is easy to install on site with total flexibility of use. It also features a range of fully adjustable fittings and associated components that make it easy to deploy in a range of working at heights scenarios.
Ladders are often used in situations where permanent access is required to an area at height, but where it may be impractical to install stairs or another fixed access system. Depending on the requirements of the system, the type of ladder used can vary. A ladder may also be installed to allow movement from one level to another, for example between levels on a roof.
A typical aluminium step or run ladder would be installed. In some circumstances there may also be a vertical lifeline installed alongside the ladder to provide fall protection while ascending or descending the ladder. A first man up cable (FMUC) may also be present at the top of the ladder to provide fall protection as the worker transitions from the ladder to the roof section or access platform.
A walkway will be installed on a roof area where there is significant risk of a slip or fall, or if the roof material will not support the weight of a worker by itself. Walkway material is also used as the flooring material for our cooling tower maintenance platforms, as well as catwalks, bridges and other suspended or supported access pathways.
At Height Safety Engineers, we primarily use a plastic-based textured walkway material. This offers numerous advantages over other walkway systems. The primary advantage offered by this material is that it is very easy to be cut and modified to perfectly cover the area where walkway is required. Being bright yellow, the walkway material is also easily visible, even in poor lighting conditions, assisting workers in making sure they do not inadvertently stray into an area that is unsafe.
The texture of the walkway provides a high-grip surface for workers, minimising the risk of a slip occurring.
In situations where it may be required, we can also install a more traditional, corrosion-resistant metal walkway. Both solutions offer workers safe methods of moving across roofs, gangways, catwalks and more.
Other Height Safety Components
These are permanently fixed brackets, placed on the edge of a roof, into which a temporary ladder is placed to allow access. Once the ladder is placed in the bracket, it can be firmly secured to avoid falling away. The worker can transition to the roof using a first-man up cable to provide fall protection while doing so.
Self-closing gates are often found at the top of permanent ladder or stair systems, including access to cooling tower maintenance platforms. This inward-opening gate allows for easy access from the ladder or stair side, but works to prevent falls from the working side by acting as part of a guardrail.
First-Man Up Cable
The first-man up cable (FMUC) is a steel cable permanently attached to an anchor point. These are typically used when transitioning from a ladder to roof. The worker attaches a lanyard to the cable and it works to provide fall protection while they reposition themselves from the ladder to the platform, roof or other working area. Once there, they disconnect from the cable and attach themselves to the anchor itself or other fall protection system that may be present.
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This only provides a brief overview on some of the more common height safety and fall protection system components you are likely to come across while working at heights. HSE’s experienced designers and estimators draw from a large selection of components from the leading manufacturers and importers of height safety and roof access fall protecting systems when forming a solution for your building or roof.
To find out how Height Safety Engineers can bring best practice height safety design with made perfect components to address your working at heights or fall protection needs, get in touch with us by calling 1300 884 978 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to one of our expert team members.