You don’t need to be at risk when working at height. Falling from height can lead to many workplace accidents. However, a well-designed rooftop walkway can reduce injuries and protect building maintenance staff. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and effective rooftop walkway.
- Take care when selecting your materials.
Rooftops are often just fragile membranes or substrates covering the building. Because they are fragile, rooftops have limited weight capacities. The walkway material you choose should be light and strong with a low weight. It should also be resistant to all weather conditions, including UV exposure.
- You should test the load-bearing ability.
Rooftop walkways should not only be light but also need to support the weight of foot traffic as well as large units like air conditioners. Every roof walkway system must comply with the load-bearing requirements.
- Ensure safe drainage.
Falls from heights can easily result from slips or trips, especially if they are on roofs. Because pooling water is often left exposed to the elements, and it is not always checked regularly, it can be a dangerous hazard. Pooling water can not only be dangerous but it can also cause roof damage.
You can either use gratings or create gully channels to drain the walkways.
- Avoid using timber.
Wood, while attractive for its many natural qualities, is not the best material. This is because wood can slip easily when it gets wet. Make sure to design your walkway with nonslip solutions in place. This could include fitting anti-slip treads on slippery surfaces or using tactile or spiked surfaces.
Wood can also rot and weaken if it isn’t properly maintained. The wooden walkways may become unsafe and cause injury to staff members.
- Verify that the fixings aren’t damaging the roof.
A roof walkway can be used to protect vulnerable roofs. When choosing a walkway system, be careful. Fitting it to damage a roof is not only counterproductive but can also compromise the roof’s waterproof membrane.
A walkway should be able to clamp to the roof profile without damaging the sheeting. This applies to the walkway as well as any associated handrails. Handrails may be an integral part of some walkways. This prevents water from getting to the roof sheet.
- Plan a logical route.
Rooftop walkways are designed to provide a safe, clear route for users. The walkways allow easy access to all parts of the roof. It encourages users to follow the path. This is vital for maintaining the integrity of the roof.
Planning a route that is as efficient as possible for users can help you manage your budget. This will ensure that people don’t stay on the roof longer than necessary. In this respect, engaging stakeholders like maintenance crews can provide valuable insights.
- If necessary, incorporate handrails
You must take care when roofing structures are fragile. For extra safety, walkways can be fitted with handrails for surfaces that are narrower or have gradients greater than 10 degrees.
- Flexibility is key to seasonal maintenance
Most roof walkways are intended to assist roof maintenance. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the walkway does not need to be maintained. The best materials will make it easy to maintain.
When it comes time to do maintenance, it is important to be aware of seasonal impacts. The spring is the best time to assess the extent of damage that winter may have done. You should lookout for signs of slip hazards and examine the condition of the walkways.
Do any major maintenance before it gets colder. In colder months, it is more difficult for walkways to be repaired. In winter, it is not necessary to repair walkways unless an emergency arises. You should inspect the roof and walkway integrity after severe weather.
The modular walkways allow you to easily remove and replace individual parts without having to disassemble the entire walkway.