OSHA Compliant Skylight Protection
Over the years, our experience has led us to the conclusion that there are only a few factors that influence companies to install skylight fall protection. The first is a proactive safety culture, developed and nurtured by responsible safety professionals, supervisors and workers. The other unfortunate motivation is OSHA violations that are a direct result of an employee injury or death.
Although skylights are beneficial to workers inside buildings, they are a serious danger to workers exposed to them on roofs. The solid appearance of skylights gives workers a false sense of stability, when in actuality a skylight is the same as a hole in your roof. Skylights are typically constructed of fragile glass or plastic that have been baking in the hot California sun for years. Within the last 8 years we have been contacted by more businesses with fatalities as a result of people falling through skylights, than any other work place accident. If sub-contractors, employees or the public can access your roof, you are at risk.
Cal/OSHA §3212 Any employee approaching within 6 feet of any skylight shall be protected from falling through the skylight or skylight opening with the use of skylight screens, guardrails, or fall arrest systems. Skylight screens in California must meet a 400 pound weight requirement and railings and fall arrest systems must meet all other OSHA standards relating to construction and installation.
Versatile Systems specializes in Versatile Skylight Screen Protection and Versatile Skylight Guardrails. With Versatile Systems skylight safety devices the employer removes the risk from this everyday fall exposure. Having OSHA Compliant skylight protection is an important step in the process of protecting employees from dangerous elevated work environments. Skylights should not be overlooked when assessing risk and providing safer work conditions for your employees.
From the California Department of Public Health:
More construction workers die from falls than from any other on-the-job injury. Fatal falls and serious injuries may result from inadequate guarding and fall protection for work around skylights. This video explains the events that led to a roofing supervisor’s death after he fell 30 feet through a warehouse roof skylight onto a floor. Photographs from the fatality investigation are supplemented with scenes recreated by co-workers who were there that day. Fall prevention recommendations are highlighted. Roofing and construction companies are encouraged to include this video as part of a comprehensive safety training program (English, 5 min 40 sec).
The video was produced by the California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program in the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health.