Using edge protection to minimise fall risks and protect workers is both standard industry practice, and good common sense, according to a HSE inspector.
Stephron Baker Holmes stressed the importance of adequate edge protection for construction firms, following a recent case in which a 43-year-old carpenter fell through an unprotected rooflight opening.
He landed more than two metres below on exposed joists, sustaining a head wound and concussion, and required a metal plate in his shoulder.
Mr Holmes said: “The risks of falling during roof work are easily understood, even from a single-storey level.
“The company needed to do something about these risks, but it failed to put in place the safeguards that are standard practice in the industry as well as common sense – edge protection [and] covers over roof openings.”
For roofs with several weak skylights, walkovers are a good option as a way of bearing more weight, and of demarcating the safe route across the roof.
They can also provide a level surface to walk across on roofs with trip hazards – such as the edge of a recessed skylight – and so also help to prevent falls on the flat, as well as from the roof edge.