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Commercial Roofing Fall Protection Guide: How to Stay OSHA-Compliant

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

In-depth look at commercial roofing OSHA regulations and the fall protection equipment needed to stay safe and compliant.

In the construction industry, falls are the number one cause of death—killing on average 150 to 200 people each year. Most of these falls occur from scaffolds and roofs. 

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Topics: Garlock, Roofing Safety, Fall Protection

Personal Fall Arrest Anchor Points: How to Ensure OSHA Compliance

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

Fall arrest equipment prevents a worker from hitting the ground if they fall over the roof edge. According to OSHA regulations, workers 6 ft. or more off the ground must be tied off to a fall arrest system if there are no guardrails or safety net systems in place.

Having a fall arrest system prevents fall-related fatalities and injuries. Falls on average kill between 150 to 200 people every year.

A fall arrest system consists of a lifeline and shock-absorbing lanyard connected to a harness. The other end of the lifeline is then connected to an anchor (or tie-off) point. This anchor point offers the resistance necessary to stop a worker’s fall. 

In this post, we’ll provide details on OSHA’s anchor point regulations, and recommend how to ensure the anchor points your contractors select meet or exceed these requirements.

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Tips for Effective Portable Generator Maintenance

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

To maximize the life of your portable generator and keep it running efficiently, you need to perform regular maintenance on the machine. In this post, we’ve outlined some tips to help you care for your portable generator.

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Portable Generators: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a portable generator for your commercial and roofing needs. To help, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we get about portable generators.

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Topics: Power Supply

Frequently Asked Questions: Perimeter Fall Protection Equipment

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal body that creates national safety regulations, requires installation of “guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems” around roof edges from which workers can fall 6 ft. or more. 

To help you understand some of the OSHA regulations regarding your roof perimeter, we’ve provided answers to some of the questions we frequently get asked. For OSHA’s full list of requirements, read through their Fall Protection page.

What does OSHA require of a roof edge guardrail system?

For an OSHA-approved guardrail system, you’ll need at minimum the following:

  • Top railing that is 1/4 in. in diameter, and 42 in. (+/- 3 in.) above the working surface. It should be able to withstand a 200 lb. outward force within 2 in. of the top railing.
  • Midrail, screen, mesh or an intermediate vertical member must be positioned directly between the top railing and working surface if there is no wall or parapet at least 21-in. high. Any rails or cable used must also be at least 1/4 in. in diameter, and capable of withstanding a 150 lb. outward force.
  • A chain, gate or removable guardrail must be placed across any roof-access or hoisting areas when not in use.

It is important to note that all projects and perimeter protection systems are different, and the components necessary to satisfy OSHA regulations may vary. For example, most guardrail systems will require base plates or clamps to secure guardrails to the roof edge, and on steep roofs with unprotected sides, toeboards must also be installed.

For more information about different perimeter protection systems options, visit Hy-Tech’s perimeter protection equipment page or contact us at info@hy-techroof.com or 800-635-0384.

How many guardrails and base plates do I need?

When you begin your search for a perimeter protection system, there are many factors to consider. Knowledgeably communicating your needs to a sales representative is essential to finding the right system and the appropriate number of components. Before you talk to a sales rep, prepare yourself by answering the following questions:

  • How long is the perimeter of the roof I’m working on?
  • What type of material is the roof? (e.g. metal, bitumen, single ply, cement, etc.)
  • Does the roof have a pitch? If so, what angle is it?
  • What is the roof edge like? (e.g. parapet wall, flat edge, etc.)

When you know this information, you’ll be able to find a system that meets the needs of your specific job. That will guarantee the system works with your roofing membrane, covers your perimeter and attaches securely to your roof edge.

Once you narrow down your system choices, you’ll be able to determine your guardrail and base plate needs.

Besides a guardrail, what are my other fall protection equipment options?

To stay OSHA compliant, you may also utilize personal fall arrest systems or install a safety net system around your roof perimeter. Both are subject to specific OSHA regulations:

Fall Arrest Systems

Fall arrest systems include safety harnesses and anchor points that are connected by shock-absorbing lanyards, lifelines and snap-hooks.

  • All fall arrest equipment must limit the arresting force to 1,800 lbs. and allow a worker to fall no more than 6 ft.
  • All fall arrest equipment must be able to withstand 2 times the potential impact force of a worker’s fall.
  • Harnesses — Body belts are not acceptable under OSHA requirements. It is recommended that workers wear harnesses that strap over their shoulders and around their legs.
  • Dee-Rings and Snap Hooks — Must have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 lbs. and be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 lbs.
  • Lanyards and Vertical Lifelines — Must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs. Ropes and straps must be made from synthetic fibers.
  • Anchorage Points — An anchorage point must be an object that does not move upon fall arrest and supports a minimum of 5,000 lbs. per person attached.

Safety Net Systems

Safety net systems are installed on the building’s exterior, below the roof edge, to prevent workers who fall from hitting the ground. They are also subject to several important OSHA regulations.

  • Must be installed no more than 30 ft. below the roof edge.
  • The net’s mesh openings must not exceed 36 sq. in. or be longer than 6 in. on any side.
  • Net must have border rope for webbing that has a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs.
  • Nets must be installed a minimum horizontal distance from the building as follows:
Net Distance from
Roof Edge
Minimum Required
Horizontal Extension
5 ft. or less 8 ft. 
5 to 10 ft.  10 ft. 
10 ft. or more 13 ft.

 

Keep in mind that OSHA requires all workers to be tied off while installing perimeter protection. You can find a complete list of OSHA perimeter protection guidelines here.

If you have any questions about perimeter protection needs, contact Hy-Tech at info@hy-techroof.com or 800-635-0384.

Commercial Roofing Fall Protection Guide

An in-depth look at OSHA fall-protection regulations and the roofing equipment you need to stay both safe and compliant. Download this valuable reference guide for free here.

 

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3 Advantages of the Garlock Turbo-Rail Fall Protection System

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

Just as you would invest in a roof cutter to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tear-off projects, an investment in the right fall protection system keeps contractors safe while improving efficiency, preserving roofing substrates and maintaining a professional, clean job site.

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Topics: Roofing Safety, Fall Protection

Fall Arrest vs. Fall Restraint: What Roofers Need to Know About These Fall Protection Systems

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

According to OSHA, roofing contractors working near a fall hazard 6 ft. or higher must be protected by a guardrail system, safety-net and/or fall-arrest system. 

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How to Prepare Your Garlock Turbo-Rail Fall Protection Railing for Hoisting

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

To keep roofing crews safe, all roofing job sites must have a fall protection railing in place. The Garlock Turbo-Rail fall protection railing provides comprehensive, OSHA-approved protection around the entire perimeter of a roof edge. It installs quickly and easily by clamping on to a parapet or slab floor. 

In this post, we’ll look at how to prepare the Garlock Turbo-Rail for transport and hoisting to your roof deck. If you need instructions on how to install the Turbo-Rail along a roof edge, check out these assembly instructions for the Garlock Turbo-Rail Fall Protection System.

Before You Begin

Before you prepare the Turbo-Rail for hoisting, be sure to have the building owner and a certified architect evaluate the roof to ensure it supports the combined weight of the Turbo-Rail (2,400 lbs.), plus all of your material, equipment and personnel.

Do not attempt to hoist the Turbo-Rail to the roof without ensuring that the roof can support the full weight of the Turbo-Rail, the crew, materials and your equipment.

Prepare the Turbo-Rail for Hoisting

Before hoisting the Turbo-Rail, make sure that all stanchions, rails and clamps are in their proper, secure positions within the Turbo-Rail carrier. 

The carrier is a solid-steel case comprised of an upper and lower section that separate from each other by removing four corner pins. Each pin is rated at 5,000 lb. lifting load, and positioned at each of the four corners of the carrier.

The lower section is designed to house the rails and stanchions, while the clamps are stored in the upper section (noted by the holes located along the side panels).

To check that your Turbo-Rail’s components are properly stored, follow these steps:

1. Remove the pin from each corner of the carrier and then, with one person on either end, use the hand-slots to lift the upper section off the lower section. Set the upper section to the side. 

2. In the lower section, the system’s rails should lay next to each other lengthwise in the same direction as the carrier and flat against the bottom of the carrier floor. 

3. Next, set the stanchions on top of the railings, making sure they lay flat in the same direction as the carrier and do not rest up on the section’s side panels.  

4. Once all the rails and stanchions are properly stored in the lower section, lift the upper section again and place it back on the lower section. Make sure when doing this that the extended lower edge of the upper section slides into the bracketed slot of the lower section (see right). 

5. Now, check that the system’s combo clamps are properly stored in the upper section of the carrier. Place the combo clamps lengthwise in the upper section of the carrier, alternating their direction as you go to fit all of them comfortably.

6. Reinsert the four corner pins to secure the upper and lower sections of the carrier together. Double check that the corner pins are locked securely in place before attempting to hoist the Turbo-Rail.

Once the Turbo-Rail is packed up and prepared, it is safe to hoist it to the roof deck. 

If you would like to purchase a Turbo-Rail fall protection railing system or have any questions, please contact Hy-Tech Products at 800-635-0384 or info@hy-techroof.com

Garlock Fall-Prevention Equipment Brochure

Garlock safety equipment is built to provide rock-solid fall-protection for your crews. Learn about their perimeter guardrails, warning line systems, skylight and hatch kits, and fall-protection carts. Download Hy-Tech's Garlock Fall-Prevention Brochure to learn more.

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Topics: Garlock, Roofing Safety, Fall Protection

6 Steps to Assemble a Garlock RailGuard 200 Fall-Protection System

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

OSHA requires that leading edges, skylights and other open spaces where falls may occur be guarded by fall protection systems. The Garlock RailGuard 200 Rail System provides this OSHA-compliant fall protection without drilling into the roof surface. 

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Garlock Turbo-Rail Fall Protection Railing Assembly Instructions

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

Note: Before you begin to assemble the Turbo-Rail fall protection railing, it is important to read all safety warnings and information in the Garlock Turbo-Rail Operator’s Instruction Manual carefully. 

The Garlock Turbo-Rail fall protection railing system creates a sturdy perimeter that prevents accidents while working near roof edges. The Turbo-Rail is OSHA-compliant and does not need to be bolted to the roof deck.

The following instructions will walk you through how to install a Garlock Turbo-Rail fall protection railing system to a parapet wall. These instructions were written using information from the Turbo-Rail manual and from Hy-Tech professionals.

 

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Topics: Garlock, Roofing Safety, Fall Protection