When it comes to accessing dangerous areas, you can't afford to take half measures. A shoddy access stairway or catwalk for roof access doesn't just put your employees at risk, it will also put you on the fast track to compliance failure. This could lead to penalties, more money spent on repairs and will likely result in some operations being put on hold.
Do it right the first time and implement a system you can trust. Here are six tips for implementing strong, compliant rooftop access.
1. Assess the variables
The trick here is to identify how the access way will be used. How often will it be used and by how many people? Will it need to support the weight of humans or heavy loads as well? Is your rooftop on an incline, and if so, will the walkway follow suit? How far will the walkway span? How frequently will you support the grating? Will you need gates?
This is the information you need before moving onto the next step.
2. Use the right materials
There are a range of materials suitable for differing access applications. From grates designed to carry high loads to more lightweight options, all the way to products designed to avoid rust, corrosion and retain chemical resistance. Selecting the right material for your application is essential.
3. Utilise an appropriate profile
Slip-resistance is extremely important when you're working in an environment exposed to the elements. In this case, you would be looking for something with serrated grating. Maybe your operation deals with small components, in which case you can opt for a tighter profile that will keep small items from dropping.
4. Ensure efficient draining
Pooled water can lead to slippery surfaces and rust. Your employees will have numerous safety and job-specific concerns when working at height, the last thing they need is an additional factor to take on board. An efficient drainage system will lead to a safer and cleaner workplace.
5. Don't disrupt the roof
While rooftop access serves the obvious purpose of keeping your staff safe when working at height, it's still imperative to the rest of the building that the engineering of the roof remains intact. It has, after all, been designed to do a job, and your access stairs, walkways, and railing shouldn't interfere with the structural integrity of the roof.
6. Work with a supplier who knows what they are doing
Make sure you get your materials from a supplier who understands the demands of your industry. Webforge have a long history designing and supplying access products to a wide range of operations - from water treatment plants to oil rigs, offering numerous profiles and materials. By working with a trusted supplier, you'll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're safe and sound.
For more information about our access and walkway products, get in contact with Webforge today.