Skylights are one of the most beautiful features on many commercial buildings – but nothing beautiful can be appreciated if it isn’t safe. Keeping your facility’s rooftop skylights safe through skylight fall protection is the first priority for commercial building owners and managers. Workers that spend their time on rooftops and around skylights must be kept safe from potential accidents. In this article, we’ll explain some of the basics of skylight fall protection, and how it can be made to make a difference.
Benefits and Risks of Skylights
Skylights have aesthetic appeal that adds value to commercial buildings. In addition, skylights allow natural light into interior spaces, which can help save money on utilities and electrical costs. Exposure to natural light is one of the ways that people stay healthy, therefore skylights are good for employee morale and health, and can improve workplace productivity. Commercial building owners that wish to create a functional and healthy work environment turn to skylights.
Of course, skylights are not without their risks. As all skylights create a hole through the roof of every commercial building where installed, this poses and increased risk to workers and maintenance crews. Skylights can represent everything from a tripping hazard to a fall-through hazard. For this reason, maintaining skylight fall protection is an important part of remaining compliant with OSHA regulations.
What You Need to Know About Skylight Fall Protection
Falls are a common workplace accident, but there are a variety of tools that commercial building owners can use to create a safer workplace environment.
Types of Devices to Protect Workers
OSHA requires that skylight guardrails must be constructed of strong, smooth material that cannot snag on clothing. Guardrails must be at least 42 inches above the walking surface, and when pressure is applied, guardrails must be able to withstand a sustained force of 200 pounds.
Skylight guardrails are an effective tool that can prevent workers from falling through skylights. They have many advantages, including:
- Won’t restrict the passage of light into the building below.
- Highly visible to anyone on the rooftop.
- Will stop anyone from falling through the skylight because of their height.
Screens are another effective tool for protecting workers from skylight-related fall accidents. Screens must be compliant with OSHA standards, which means they must be secured in place to prevent displacement and must be capable of supporting twice the maximum intended load on the skylight.
Personal Fall Protection
Personal fall protection comes in many forms, including harnesses, anchor points, and lanyards. Again, all fall protection tools must be OSHA compliant and employees who use personal protective devices must be trained to use them properly.
Before use, every piece of equipment must be inspected. Defects like tears and abrasions could stop the piece of equipment from being used, so building owners are encouraged to inspect their equipment before each use.
Skylight Protection You Can Count On
One way to avoid workplace accidents around commercial skylights is to install VTECH solid-state skylights with built-in fall protection. With VTECH skylights in your commercial building, fall-through accidents should never happen. If you’re a commercial building owner, see our certifications page where we demonstrate the strength of our skylights.
What Is a Solid-State Skylight?
Solid-state skylights are all made from one piece. The frame and glazing are chemically bonded, which means they can’t be separated. As long as VTECH skylights are properly installed, there should be no problems with the glass detaching from the frame to allow someone to fall through.
VTECH skylights retain their structural integrity even beyond the date of their warranty, even when exposed to a variety of negative conditions like fire, high impacts, and pressure from extreme winds. On the VTECH certifications page, you’ll see that even when a 600-pound bag of lead shot is dropped on the skylight, the layer of laminate beneath the skylight holds the weight.
Contact VTECH Skylights to Learn More
Maintaining skylight safety is critical for establishing a functional commercial space. To learn more about how VTECH skylights exceed expectations, contact VTECH Skylights today.