One of the common and imperative design element of every construction whether a residential house or commercial building is the ‘roof’. People live under a roof nearly most part of their day and night but rarely think of its importance. A roof is the topmost part of every construction and is built with the correct materials for not only protect the interior space but also support the walls and foundation of the construction.

The primary reason for the roof is to provide shelter to the house or building occupants from various weather elements such as rain, winds, dust, and heat. The construction of the roof depends on the type of weather which prevails in the area, the available roofing materials and architectural design of the house and the roof. The three important aspects of the design of the roof are construction, material, and durability. A roof should be solidly built as it exposed to the winds, dust, rain, and debris all year round which tends to effects its construction. The two key aspects which should be considered during roof construction are insulation and drainage. The roof insulation is best to provide warmth in the winter season and coolness in the summers. The roof should also have a proper drainage system to prevent a large volume of rainwater to accumulate and affect the surface of the roof.

There are different ways through which people can access their roof. In a residential house, there are always stairs which lead up to the rooftops but people can also grab an extension ladder and access the roof by placing the ladder against the outside wall of the house. One another method which is commonly used in houses and particularly in factories and warehouses to gain entry and exit on the roof is a roof hatch. Whether you want a quick entry on your roof garden or repair some electrical equipment, roof hatch is the best to suit your purpose.

The roof hatches provide convenient entry and exit to roof terraces and rooftops particularly to workers in factories and warehouses to do proper inspection and maintenance of electrical equipment placed on the roof which includes HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electrical cables and wires, solar panels and other cooling installations. The modern roof hatches can easily be installed on flat, insulated or non-insulated roofs made from either wood, steel or concrete.

The roof hatch systems play a vital role especially providing fast and convenient access to the roof of factories and warehouses so that repair and maintenance work can be done as any fault in electrical systems can disrupt the seamless operations. The hinges, locks, and frames of the roof hatch systems are all designed to allow easy access for workers with their tools and also for durability against different weather conditions. A typical steel roof hatch has a sturdy frame and easy to use handle which is ideal to prevent rain, snow, and dust to come inside. Although a roof hatch system provides many advantages still it needs to be equipped with safety features to ensure fall protection.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration or more commonly known as OSHA has strict guidelines for worker safety and terms roof hatch railings necessary along with the roof hatch.

The railings enclose the roof hatch and not only prevent a person at home or a worker in the warehouse to fall over but also provide support and stability in movement. The railings should be installed according to OSHA requirements for safe and easy ingress and egress from rooftop openings when the hatch is in open position. The modern and advanced railings are modular in design which means they can easily be installed on the roof surface along with the roof hatch system. The safety railings are mostly made from galvanized steel and aluminum which is known for strength and durability. The roof hatch railings are available in various sizes and styles to fit the configuration of the roof opening. The railings are quickly installed and with basic tools and do not require a person or worker to have any training or certification to install them. OSHA requires that roof access points in the house, factories, and warehouses should properly be covered by railings and safety gates as the access points are common places where a worker is susceptible to fall over. The benefits of roof hatch railings are

  • Provides safety to workers and repairmen while accessing the roof.
  • The workers can easily complete their task without worrying to fall over
  • The workers can grab the bar of the railing if they lose their footing
  • The railings are available in numerous designs and can easily be integrated with the roof hatch system
  • The railings comply with the OSHA guidelines for safety
  • No drilling or roof penetration is required during installation as the railings just clamp and bolt together
  • The railings are mostly colored in yellow to provide visibility to the workers
  • The railings are easily cleaned and resistant to corrosion which means they are long lasting
  • The railing installation will not damage the roof surface

About the Author:

Mr. Tom Green works as a safety consultant and his job is to provide new techniques which give maximum safety to workers and minimize injuries during construction and repair work. He recently emphasizes the use of roof hatch railings to prevent injury due to fall. People can reach him on his Facebook and Twitter account.

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