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  • Chris Ulyatt

Above It All: A Guide to Roof Edge Protection for Safe Working at Heights

Updated: 5 days ago

Roof edge protection

Working at heights is an important part of many construction and maintenance tasks and is often a requirement when working on buildings. However, it also presents significant safety risks. Falling from an elevated height can be extremely dangerous and result in life-altering injuries. So, safety precautions like roof edge protection are absolutely paramount when your team is working on a roof. 

What Is Edge Protection?

Edge protection refers to a safety system that’s designed to prevent falls from the edges of roofs during construction, maintenance or repair work. The type of scaffolding used for the roofing edge protection will depend on the requirements of the customer. Typically, when replacing a house roof, Access Safety Systems will use the INTAKS® roof edge protection system, which is installed to the edge of the roof to stop people from falling from the roof. If the client requires a working platform so they are able to walk around the outside border of the roof, then Access Safety Systems will use the Ringlock scaffolding system. Both of these systems are designed to be installed quickly and efficiently without hassle.  

Naturally, there are many benefits of secure roof edge protection products, such as:

Enhanced Safety. Of course, the most obvious benefit of edge protection is improved safety. Working at heights is inherently dangerous, and it’s vital to find good options to improve the conditions that your team will be working in. This can include sturdy scaffoldingsafety nets and edge protection.

Even if the job you’re planning seems relatively straightforward and easy, safety should never be compromised. One slip-up can lead to disaster, and safety methods like edge protection can mitigate risk. If an accident does, unfortunately, occur, safety protocols can prevent the damage from being worse than it could have been.

Regulatory Compliance. In many areas, stringent regulations are set in place to protect workers and govern safety practices for construction projects. Roof edge protection and other safety protocols may be required for your project. Before you start any work, it’s a good idea to learn what you’re legally required to do. 

Along with staying legally compliant, be sure your team understands safety protocols and knows how to conduct themselves when working at an elevated height.

Enhanced Productivity. Working at an elevated level can cause anxiety and stress, both of which can hinder your team’s productivity and even lead to mistakes and forgetfulness. With secure safety measures put in place, your valued workers are more likely to focus and be more productive, leading to better efficiency and higher-quality results. With roof edge protection, your team can focus more on the work in front of them and less on potential hazards that they need to work around.

When workers feel secure, safe and cared about, they’ll be more confident in their work. This confidence can reduce the likelihood of accidents, minimise downtime and maintain project timelines with minimal incidents. 

In addition to helping workers feel more secure and thus more productive, you don’t have to worry about the installation process of edge protection taking too long, either. The edge protection and scaffolding we use are designed to be quickly set up and taken down, so we won’t take too long installing these systems for you. 

Protection Of Equipment And Materials. Along with protecting your hard-working team members, roof edge protection also safeguards important items from falling. This can include tools, equipment and materials that could fall off of the roof. 

The level of protection will depend on the specific system you have installed. For example, with INTAKS® roof edge protection, the gap from the roof to the first rail is so small that a person wouldn’t fall down, but small items might. Conversely, the Ringlock system has kickboards which would prevent smaller items from falling.

If you’re not sure which type would be best for your project, we can discuss your needs and determine the best options for your situation. 

Signs It’s Time To Implement Roof Edge Protection

If you’re not sure whether your roof project requires edge protection or not, think about the following signs: 

  • The Height Of The Work That Will Take Place. If work is being conducted at heights where a fall could result in serious injury, then edge protection is essential. Safety should always be a top priority, even if your project is a small-scale endeavour.

  • Complexity Of The Project. More complex projects with multiple people on-site increase the risk of falls and dangerous incidents and make edge protection even more necessary. 

  • Previous Incidents. If you’ve planned similar projects in the past and there has been a history of near-misses or actual falls, then that’s a sign you should improve your safety measures for your next project. 

Staying Safe And Secure Even When Working At Heights In New Zealand

For reliable solutions and dependable safety measures, trust us at Access Safety Systems. We provide safety services for the new home and renovation market, as well as for the commercial market, in Hamilton and the greater Waikato area. 

If you’d like to discuss your project’s needs with us, or if you’re not sure if you need roof edge protection and would like to ask us some questions, you can call us on +64 800 722 334 or use our contact page.

Protect your team and ensure your project is incident-free with Access Safety Systems.

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