Roof Fall Protection: Requirements and Standards

Posted On 1st September 2020

Roof Fall ProtectionLearn about OSHA requirements for roof safety access.

We will let you know how to increase worker productivity while avoiding any fall accidents by using proper roof safety equipment.

Avoiding tragic falls and keeping your workers safe is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. But you can avoid fall accidents by using roof safety access systems that are reliable, portable, and don’t break the bank.

Working on roofs is a dangerous occupation even under ideal conditions. Steep slopes, high elevations, and roof edges that are completely unprotected can all lead to terrible falls. When you add in weather conditions like wind and slippery surfaces caused by rain, the risk of a fall increases exponentially. Due to the extreme fall risks associated with roofing work, roof fall protection systems are absolutely necessary.

OSHA roof fall protection provides the standards you must follow to keep your workers protected and keep your company safe from liability.

In 2017, OSHA updated their standards for roof fall protection requirements, clarifying for employers exactly what must be done in the workplace. All work that is being done within ten feet of an unprotected roof edge is required to utilize safety rail systems or another form of roof fall protection.

The Vital Importance of Roof Fall Protection

Workplace falls are consistently one of the safety concerns that can keep employers up at night. Falls from roofs can result in serious damage to multiple body parts and can often result in death.

For the falls that do not result in death, the recovery time for your employees can be extensive.

Types of Roof Fall Protection Systems

There are many different types of roof fall protection systems. But the most reliable systems tend to be made from a fall protection guardrail.

A guardrail gives your workers an item to clutch to steady themselves, or to grab onto if a fall were to occur.

Portable Roof Fall Protection Systems

BuyRailings specializes in portable roof fall protection systems. You can find a wide variety of sizes and accessories to completely outfit your company with a roof guardrail system.

Roof guardrails are essential safety items and having the ability to portably move them from one area to the next is a great convenience.

Residential Roof Fall Protection Systems

Over one-third of fall deaths in residential construction is the result of falls from roofs. A roof safety rail is a simple solution that can be set up quickly and provides the safety and compliance you desire.

Fall Protection Systems for Flat Roofs

Flat roof fall protection systems are necessary, regardless of how safe you or your employees may feel on a flat roof.

A fall protection guardrails or a fall protection railing generally work well on flat roofs.

Fall Protection for Metal Roofs

Fall protection anchors for metal roofs are often the most effective way to keep your employees safe.

A roof fall protection anchor provides a firm base for your guardrails, which is even more necessary on a slippery metal roof.

The anchor base offered here is 108 pounds worth of hot-dipped galvanized steel. So, there is no need to worry about the base or connected guardrails slipping out of place.

Roof Fall Protection: OSHA Considerations

OSHA standards apply to roofs as well as to hatches that a worker could fall through. So, do not forget about a roof hatch guardrail.

According to OSHA, the guardrail must be able to withstand a force of 200 pounds in a downward direction.

You can rest assured that our products have been rigorously tested to meet these requirements.

OSHA Roof Guardrail Requirements

OSHA’s fall protection standards dictate that every employee that is walking or working on a surface with an unprotected edge that is at least six feet above the surface of the ground must have roof fall protection equipment. The options listed by OSHA to protect from falls are guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems.

When an employer chooses to use a guardrail system, certain criteria must be met. The guardrail systems you will find at BuyRailings have all been manufactured to the standards set by OSHA.

OSHA roof guardrail requirements state that the top rails and the mid-rails of the guardrail system must bet at least one-quarter of an inch thick.

The guardrails provided here are 1-1/4” thick. OSHA also states that the guardrails must be between 39 and 45 inches tall. Our portable guard railing is 42 inches tall. They are 100% made in the USA and are manufactured from galvanized steel before being powder coated in high visibility yellow paint.

The guardrails you will find at BuyRailings are easy to install and do not require any tools, drilling, or welding. Two people working together can install over five hundred feet for guard rails each hour, which means you save money while staying safe.

Individual rails range from two feet to ten feet in length, with intervals of one foot. The portable guardrail system is installed by connecting the rails into a 108-pound base using a connector pin.

The portable fall protection anchor point, item 220, allows for easy installation of a temporary railing for fall protection that is OSHA compliant and doesn’t require extra tools or equipment.

Made from hot-dipped galvanized steel, the 108-pound base can also be extremely effective when used as metal roof fall protection anchors. The bases should be placed on the perimeter of the roofs, and guardrails can be attached and moved at a variety of angles.

To help you move the anchor base, we also offer a transporter dolly. The final piece to the puzzle is an optional toe board that comes in sizes ranging from two to ten feet. Together, these items create temporary guardrail systems for roofs that you can rely on to keep your workplace OSHA compliant, and most importantly, prevent serious injuries caused by falls.

Using the Right Equipment for Fall Protection

When it comes to safety equipment, cutting corners is not an option. Luckily, OSHA has laid out the standards that employers must follow when employees are working on rooftops. And at BuyRailings, you can be fully OSHA compliant with our portable fall protection systems that save you time and money.

Everything you need to keep your workers safe, provide peace of mind, and stay compliant is right here at If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to help you figure out your safety needs and what equipment you should have at your next job site.