Roofs and Fall Protection – Where’s the Connection

 

Steven P. Bentz, P.E. of Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) provided a lecture titled Roofs and Fall Protection – Where’s the Connection.  Combining roofing basics and the importance of fall protection design Mr. Bentz provided an overview of these topics to the Building Performance Failures and Forensic Techniques class in Archtiectural Engineering at Penn State on November 18, 2014.

 

Experienced in both topics, Mr. Bentz provided a “Roofing 101 introduction  on such topics as:

  • Identification of Basic Low-Slope Roof Types
  • What to look for relative to roofing defects
  • Industry references and sources of information
  • The importance of  proper roof design and detailing
  • Roofing failures

There are numerous references and sources of information related to roofing available to the industry.  An excellent overview, including a discussion of roofing types, roofing design concepts and problem prevention can be found in the in a subsection of the Whole Building Design Guide titled Building Envelope Design Guide – Roofing Systems.

Fall Protection:

According to OSHA, falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. OSHA requires employers to set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.

Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA mandates that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.  For specific information on OSHA fall protection requirements, regulations and guidelines, link here.

In a similar discussion to Roofing, Mr. Bentz relayed the importance and basics of Fall Protection including explanations of such as items as ”elevated areas”, including relating  how Fall Protection relates to roof systems, design and maintenance.

 

 

 

 

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