Accessing Roofs Safely

Jason Godfrey, General Manager discusses the importance of fall protection systems and explains how Safesite provided the perfect safety solution for Britvic Soft Drinks in the November issue of RCI.

Ensuring optimum safety for those working at height is of a paramount concern. No contractor knowingly wants to put their own life and limbs at risk, and it would be fair to say that they are increasingly aware of how important it is to take the proper precautions and use the right equipment when working on rooftops. End users too are more accepting of the principles behind fall protection such as roof edge protection systems which ultimately support workers who routinely access rooftops.

Depending on the use of the building, the system specified will be different. For example, industrial buildings are not necessarily going to require a permanent system in place. In contrast, a shopping centre where access to rooftop plant, such as air-conditioning, lifts, lighting etc, is routinely required will demand that type of solution. However, a traditional public building, where aesthetics and period charm are hugely important may need a more permanent system but because aesthetics are so critical, the edge protection system will need to be unobtrusive, and certainly not visible from street level.

Selecting the right equipment is key to reducing the risk of accidents and falls from height. But from the contractor’s point of view, it’s also helpful if the system selected is easy to install, available at short notice and offers good value for money. Faced with these requirements, innovations such as KeeGuard Topfix from Safesite provide a great option for contractors.

Edge protection for metal profile roofs

These systems have been developed to provide an adaptable guardrail solution for standing seam and metal profile roofs. An “off the shelf” product, it comprises a base plate, pre-assembled uprights and open cup fittings for quick and easy assembly. The specially designed base plate incorporates multiple-fixing centres to allow for installation on a wide range of popular roofs.

The base plates for standing seam roofs are fixed using non-penetrative, 2-part clamps while plates on metal profile roofs are secured with sealing strips to maintain the roof structure. These systems easily accommodate ridges, valleys, corners and other structural differences. With an upright base fitting that allows 0-11 degree vertical adjustment and four fixing holes in the plate the system can fit into the roof profile as easily as possible.

Products in Practice

Safesite has installed Kee Walk, KeeGuard Topfix and KeeLine systems and a number of CAT access ladders for Britvic Soft Drinks to ensure safe roof access at all times at its Robinson Concentrate Squash manufacturing facility in Norwich. During a major refurbishment programme it was identified that regular access would be required onto the warehouse roofs for routine inspection and maintenance of roofs and gutters. Safesite was contacted to carry out a survey of the roof areas and recommend the most appropriate – and cost effective – solutions to providing a safe working area for the required inspection and maintenance tasks.

Lifeline fall protection at Britvic

Kee Walk rooftop walkway systems have been installed to provide a non slip walkway across the roof and along the valley gutters for maintenance purposes. The flexibility of Kee Walk enabled it to adapt to the changing roof angles as well as provide a stepped solution where required. Bespoke KeeGuard Topfix systems have been installed alongside Kee Walk to provide permanent protection where the gutters run along the roof edges. KeeGuard Topfix provided the ideal edge protection solution as it has been specifically designed for metal profile roofs such as Britvic’s. KeeLine Horizontal life line systems provide fall restraint protection on the upper roofs which are accessed via CAT access ladders.

Alex Francine, Britvic’s regional project manager commented, “Safesite understood our requirements and was able to offer both standard and bespoke solutions to meet these exactly. The company provided us with a very efficient and professional service throughout from the initial survey and design of the system, through to the fabrication, installation and project management.”

Stepped Kee Walk Walkway and Cat Ladders for roof safety

This article can be found on Page 98 of the November issue of RCI.

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