Skylights | Roofing Safety, Fall Protection, OSHA Rules, Hazards

November 6, 2019 posted by

Bryon: A hole is defined: a gap or open space
in a floor, roof, horizontal walking-working surface, or similar surface that is at least
two inches, in its least dimension. A hole is talking about any opening in a horizontal
surface. So, when you’re walking across the floor,
if there is a hole in the floor, it is a hole. A skylight would be a definition, or an example,
of a hole that is in a roof. Trever: When roofing homes, new construction,
or re-roof, tearing off an existing roof, and putting a new one on, we come across skylights
on a regular basis. In our area, a majority of homes have a minimum
of one skylight, and sometimes more than that. So, it’s a big hazard, especially new construction
like what’s shown here, is the framers will frame the skylight curb, is what it’s called,
so we can flash around it, then we put the new skylight on. But, it’s a huge hole going all the way down;
it’s a big hazard. What the law is, and what we do, is when those
skylights are open, you have to have a piece of plywood or something on site, to where
you can put it over the top, fasten it, you know, marked hole that it’s a danger so nobody
will step into it. There’s been a lot of injuries over the years
where people, you know, they don’t do this, and they’ll be walking backwards, just not
knowing where it’s at, and they’ll trip and fall. And some people have even died during this
process. So, it’s really important to take the time
and, you know, to cover the holes on the roofs, if it’s new construction or even during a
residential re-roof. Jeff: So, if you’re up there on that roof,
the thing we want you to do is prevention, okay. We always want prevention. The skylight covers, anything you can do. The guard rail systems, demarcation, anything
you can do to protect against those skylights is the very first. Temporary guardrail systems like we said,
you know, block it off, make it so you can’t get to it. Most guys just want to tie off and run around. But remember, the thing about skylights are
is that you could tie off on this side, walk up to a skylight, you could walk up to it
you’re fine, but once you walk around it and you’re on the other side, you’re no longer
tied off. Because if you fall back through, you’re going
down through. Okay, so, you always have to, kind of treat
it like a leading edge. You can go up to it, but you can’t go around
it. If you’re going to go around it, you have
to replace your anchor. An owner that has a building that has a lot
of skylights, I would tell him permanent fault protection system. That way a guy is hooked off, he’s always
hooked off. Those things start at one end and go all the
way to the other. So, we can wrap them through, they�re cleated,
so when you walk through and you’ve got the little, we call them travelers, tie up points,
they just click, click, break through. So you never have to untie. Matt: One of the common things that we come
across with roofing are skylights, or at least openings to let sunlight come in. Oftentimes on commercial buildings is where
you’ll find just the openings around the perimeter of the building, so that those exterior windows
can get some natural light. Residential or commercial jobs, a lot of times,
have skylights as well, and those have their own fall protection hazards that you need
to address. And so, what we do is, we will build, or take
a sheet of plywood, and cover those skylight areas so that we can eliminate that risk of
falling through, either the opening, or tripping and falling through the skylight itself is
a potential. And so, by taking plywood and covering those
holes, or those skylights up, is critical. And that is something that happens at the
very beginning of a job. When the foreman gets to the job, they look
on their material list, they look on the job sheet, they see there’s a skylight. They know that they need to address that right
away, so when they go up to get their fall protection installed, they will then take
care of that skylight as well.

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