The value of walkovers cannot be overstated, particularly on buildings where the roof is necessarily made of fragile materials.
In one recent case, a 44-year-old man from Preston, near Hull, was given the task of cleaning greenhouse gutters at a salad farm.
He was given no protection – such as a guardrail or man anchor – other than a long-handled broom with which to steady himself against the glass.
This left him to walk heel-to-toe along the guttering itself, from which he ultimately fell, crashing through the glass and landing more than four metres below.
“”This case highlights how important it is for employers to identify the risks involved in working at height, particularly near fragile materials,”” says HSE inspector Andrew Gale.
Walkovers are one useful way to compensate for fragile roofs, both by creating a crossing that is able to take a person’s weight, and by providing a visible reminder not to step on to the rest of the roof.
Further measures such as man anchors and guardrails can improve this protection further when work must be carried out close to the roof edge, helping to reduce the risk of falls and serious injury.