Take Rooftop and Skylight Safety Seriously
We’re often told of the hazards of being on a roof and fall protection, but some of the guidelines can seem a bit over-cautious. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Most workers feel fit and healthy enough to not heed some fall protection advice. “I have good balance.” Or “I’m young a healthy, a fall won’t hurt me.” Both are quite far from the truth. Everyone has good balance until that one time they don’t, from a head rush, or a burst of wind, or a small slip on a screw or nail. And fall injury’s don’t work the same as others. While your health or youth might make recovery better, that’s only if you survive the fall. A fall of just 6 feet has the ability to cause a fatal head injury. Even that statement seems outlandish, how could a fall from that short of distance hurt anyone, let alone kill someone? It’s just that are bodies are not designed to take impacts from falls, we don’t have any shock absorption in our head or necks, making even small falls potentially deadly.
Routes of travel that take you past skylights or near the edge of the roof have now exposed you to fall hazards. This is not an empty warning.
Recently a 39-year-old worker fell to his death on a job site through a skylight opening. The contractor was cited, as the death was considered preventable. Don’t put your workers at risk. Make sure they take safety serious and take the necessary precautions.
Skylights are Even More Dangerous
Not only are skylight openings dangerous on job sites, skylights themselves are even more dangerous. Many assume the glazing is structurally sound, and can support their weight if a fall or slip were to happen. This is rarely the case. Most glazing is designed only for impact resistance from small hail. The fall of an average human is way more than the skylight can support. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because the opening is covered, it is safe. Take precautions and stay healthy and alive!