Rooftop walkways: do you need them?
Ensuring the safety of workers at height should be the priority for anyone with site management responsibilities, as well as designers.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) state that all designers must eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during construction and, crucially, the maintenance and use of a building once it is built.
Under this regulation, where regular access is identified onto a roof, then there is a legal requirement for a safe level walkway.
The new CDM regulations make it clear the designer must ensure safe access is not only provided for the construction phase of the project, but for the future maintenance of the building.
If the roof is a relatively flat membrane, then a non-slip matting may be acceptable, but if the roof structure is not flat then under current CDM regulations a solution such as the Kee Walk system would be required.
In addition to this, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state:
“In a workplace every floor, traffic route and walkway should not have holes or slopes, or be uneven or slippery, exposing people to health and safety risks.”
Under this regulation, if there is plant or maintenance areas on a roof that require regular maintenance accessed by walking, then this area must not have holes or slopes, or be uneven or slippery. A walkway would also satisfy these requirements.
Overall, though it may not be something many have considered, the CDM regulations, as well as Workplace Regulations, make clear that all efforts should be taken to keep workers and visitors safe, and a walkway solution such as the Kee Walk could be the answer.
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