Watch the exclusive industry session now. You will gain essential insights and the most critical best practices on:
Don’t miss this essential webinar on the latest commercial rooftop safety standards and regulations. Hit play now.
Shane: [00:00:19] Hello, and thank you, everyone for joining us today. I'm Shane Mercer, editor of Canadian Occupational Safety and I'm pleased to introduce today's webinar, best practices in creating safe access and working environments on rooftops. Commercial rooftops are becoming more and more crowded on job sites, which means they are also becoming more inherently dangerous. New infrastructure brings new hazards that need to be addressed with the very best safety solutions. So, what are the most effective control methods to avoid rooftop accidents? Lawson: Jim is one of Skyline group's roof safety specialists with experience in the construction industry, and an expertise on building codes and regulations. Lawson: helps architects, engineers, contractors and property managers ensure they have the necessary equipment for their roof safety needs, while complying with local codes. A couple of notes just before we get started, at the end of the presentation, we'll be welcoming audience questions, so feel free to type any questions you have into the q&a box within the Zoom webinar software. If you experience any technical difficulties or have any trouble hearing the audio, please use the chat box next to the q&a icon. And we will be sending out a recording to all attendees after the webinar. All right, with all that said, over to you, Lawson.
Lawson: [00:01:46] Thank you very much, Shane. Very glad to be here. So appreciate the introduction there. So hello, everybody. My name is Lawson Ghinn, and I am a representative for Skyline Group. Thank you for joining on the call today. And so today I'm going to be reviewing the best practices as discussed in relation to specifically rooftop safety.
Lawson: [00:02:14] So if there's really one thing that I want to get you to get out of this presentation today is that you can better understand what a safety hazard is.
Lawson: [00:02:23] And know what solutions there are to overcome the hazards. So I've got a list of what we're going to be covering today.
Lawson: [00:02:31] And with that said, let's get right on to it. However, before we start, there's
Lawson: [00:02:36] there's one thing I would like to ask you. So we're going to do a quick poll. And we will read out the results of this poll. But the purpose of this is that we want to get a feel for what everybody has signed up for today, what they want to get to get out of this call.
Lawson: [00:02:54] So if we if we could put that poll out there. And essentially what we want to to find out is what piqued your interest in registering for this webinar. And we'll give you 30 seconds to answer this before we close it out. And this will just help me tailor this, this presentation to whatever is wanting to delve into deeper today.
Lawson: [00:03:21] Alright, so very,
Lawson: [00:03:24] another 10 seconds or so.
Lawson: [00:03:38] Alright, perfect. So we've got the results in here. So what I'm seeing sort of here now is 15% of people looking to delve into height safety trends,
Lawson: [00:03:51] and 19% of people looking to get a more deep understanding of roof hazard.
Lawson: [00:03:57] But we have a bit of a tie for available roof safety solutions and review of code standards and regulations both at 33% exactly. So this is great to know. So we're fairly even across the board.
Lawson: [00:04:12] We'll get right into covering all these things here. But
Lawson: [00:04:19] So are roof type safety,
Lawson: [00:04:22] roof type safety is it a concern?
Lawson: [00:04:26] It's a fact that roofs are at height, and width height comes the hazard of falling.
Lawson: [00:04:31] Even being in the middle of the roof, it may not seem dangerous. However, if you get to the edge of the roof, that is when you're putting yourself in danger. So this may be on a high rise building, maybe a small apartment building.
Lawson: [00:04:45] You may be surprised that 75% of fatalities in construction are due to trips and falls. So that's why we're here today. There's still definitely a lot of work to do in terms of safety.
Lawson: [00:05:00] We have seen the average work related death come down from thirty eight a day in 1970 to thirteen a day in 2021. So this is great progress and improvement. Obviously, this is due to the increase in safety regulations and codes. But thirteen a day? we want this to be zero.
Lawson: [00:05:21] We don't want to see any accidents from falling. Because we do have the technology and equipment available to achieve zero, we just need to spread the awareness. So everybody understands the importance of it, implementing it and following, following it. At the end of the day, we want everybody to go home safe, come home in the same manner they went to work so we can do better. And that's what we're striving to do.
Lawson: [00:05:48] Going over this presentation today.
Lawson: [00:05:51] So let's cover some trends that we're seeing in the industries. So one big one is that we are seeing an increase of awareness from the building owners themselves, because they are responsible for the buildings, the properties, anybody working in them. So they're responsible for the safety of personnel, accessing the roofs, maintenance crews, anybody else who's going up there.
Lawson: [[00:06:16] They're also becoming more educated about safety. So they are starting to understand the risks more the hazards, they can take the appropriate measures, to remove them and overcome them.
Lawson: [[00:06:28] We're also seeing employers and safety organizations implementing more safety courses for their employees. So increasing education all around, it teaches everybody to know what to look out for how to recognize a safety hazard. And by doing that, they're also giving the employees the right to refuse the work. If the roof is deemed unsafe, deemed unsafe, or point these heads up to get them resolved as soon as possible.
Lawson: [[00:06:56] As time goes on, we're also seeing an increase of maintenance on rooftops with different technology being introduced, we've got an increase of rooftop units on rooftops
Lawson: [00:07:08] increase in green energy, for instance, solar panels, which take up a lot of roof space. Often, we're seeing increasing roof types like green roofs, which need maintenance, and regular access. So there's an ever increasing need of maintenance on rooftops. And as a result of this, it's also driving the increase of codes and regulations, and accountability around safety and compliance for these areas.
Lawson: [00:07:39] So depending on your location, I'm not sure where you're all joining from today. But
Lawson: [00:07:45] right across Canada, there's codes and regulations and policies, which will be very specific to your area.
Lawson: [00:07:53] And they vary from province to province. And there are various different organization, organizations thread spread across Canada. So you might ask what codes apply to you? And where do you go to find the information. I've listed a range of organizations here that implement their own codes and safety standards.
Lawson: [00:08:14] So we have federal and provincial codes, which will vary based on your location. We have labor unions and construction industries, various industries, putting their own policies and regs in place. And then we're also seeing testing organizations as well, that come with certain certifications that are putting their own regulations in place for staff and employees that need to get up on roofs.
Lawson: [00:08:41] However, one law to be very aware of when it comes to rooftops and building owners would be Bill C-45.
Lawson: [00:08:50] So, Bill C=45, is also known as known as the Westray law was put in place in 2004. And it was amending the Criminal Code to increase accountability for workplace safety. So simply put, this is holding building owners and possibly employers accountable, and criminally liable if there is an accident on the building. And the proper safety isn't in place.
Lawson: [00:09:16] So oh, so
Lawson: [00:09:18] So what this does enforces, it enforces employers and building owners to ensure they're taking the necessary steps to protect the workers while they're on the worksite.
Lawson: [00:09:30] Now, this isn't any joke. There are some examples of conviction since this was put in place where, for instance, in 2013, a construction company owner in Ontario
Lawson: [00:09:41] They were sentenced to three and a half years and the company was fined 1.3 million for death of four workers an accident on a site there. And in 2018, there was a Quebec crane company that was charged for a collapse.
Lawson: [00:09:56] That happened a few years ago. I think it's 2012 and the company
Lawson: [00:10:00] was fined 1.2 million and the owner was sentenced to prison as well for 18 months. So
Lawson: [00:10:06] liability for safety measures not being in place is always increasing. Definitely something that we all need to be educated on, and you bringing everybody home safe.
Lawson: [00:10:21] Now, there are
Lawson: [00:10:23] a lot of different safety hazards to identify in a roof type. And it's important to know how to identify these.
Lawson: [00:10:30] So what I've done is we've put together a couple of slides, which highlights some of the main hazards that we're seeing.
Lawson: [00:10:39] So on the left-hand side of this slide, here, we see that there is a roof hatch close to the roof edge. Now on older buildings, we see this a lot where the access ladders were installed on the interior of the building. And they use the exterior wall to fix it. That's what they fixed it to. So obviously, coming out the exterior wall, the hatch needed to be right near the roof edge. So as soon as you step out of that hatch, you're immediately exposed to a fall hazard.
Lawson: [00:11:08] Not to mention as well, the roof hatch being open as an opening in the walking surface.
Lawson: [00:11:15] On the right-hand side, you can see a unit on the top of the building. So these types of units will need regular maintenance. Anytime anybody is working on these units, now they're going to be walking close to the roof edge and within a within tripping distance of falling off the edge of the roof. Technically speaking, if you're within six feet of a 10 foot drop, then you will need some method of fall protection or fall restraint. Or if you can remove the hazard remove it altogether. And it's gone for good.
Lawson: [00:11:53] Now, there are many excellent systems on the markets,
Lawson: [00:11:58] such as roof anchors that can help with this. However, if you're going to use a roof anchor system, you'll need to be trained how to use it properly.
Lawson: [00:12:07] And you need the correct equipment to use it, then the roof anchor has to be certified frequently. Which leads to the question, is anybody accessing these roofs? Are they really going to know how to use them? Are they going to be trained? Do they have the correct equipment to use them. So you really have to think and remember the actual practical use of the systems that you're going to be installing. So later on, we're going to give some examples of very practical, foolproof systems that we can put in place to resolve these issues.
Lawson: [00:12:42] So a couple other examples of hazards we come across. On the left-hand side, we see this building has a skylight,
Lawson: [00:12:48] great design feature bringing natural light into offices. I'm sure we've all experienced it. However, most guidelines aren't actually engineered to be walked on stepped on or have any kind of weight fall onto it. So, they can be very fragile.
Lawson: [00:13:05] So if you live in Canada, which I'm sure everybody on this call does, somewhere else, it gets snow, this rooftop could be covered with snow during the winter months. Not only will this cover the skylight, great blocking sunlight, but it'll create a hazard to anybody working on the roof because it's an unseen tripping hazard. So even if there is no snow on the roof, we've heard stories, where service personnel or maintenance staff have tripped over it, they've walked backwards and fallen through it. Even one guy stopped to eat his lunch and sat on it and fell through. So
Lawson: [00:13:40] definitely hazard to be aware of. They're actually if they don't meet engineering that to be considered an opening in the surface of the rooftop.
Lawson: [00:13:50] So not a hazard to be overlooked.
Lawson: [00:13:52] And then finally, on the right hand side, we have a general service area on a rooftop.
Lawson: [00:13:59] So anybody working on those units are gonna have to walk close to the roof edge.
Lawson: [00:14:04] So this is a hazard because there's going to be various contractors walking these roofs with tools
Lawson: [00:14:12] and focusing on their task not really focusing on the roof edge. So any general service areas or walkway areas that go close to the roof edge, there should be safety measures put in place, and then not to mention the glaringly obvious man staring off the edge of the roof there on his distraction on his phone.
Lawson: [00:14:36] Also illustrating that building owners don't exactly know everybody going on the rooftop. They're not aware of what training they have, or common sense they have. So when it comes to putting rooftop safety on a rooftop, always be proactive, ensure that codes are being met to make sure everybody goes home safe at the end of the day. Nobody wants to discover safety by accident.
Lawson: [00:15:00] So after looking at different roof hazards, how now do you go about selecting your next rooftop safety solution? So I like to think about it as getting up on the rooftop and figuring out how am I going to get from A to B? Are there hazards in the pathway like are there elevation changes, gas lines? Are there any walkways near fall hazards?
Lawson: [00:15:27] Is the pathway clear? Will it suffice if an emergency repair had to be done on a unit or an elevator in the dark or in bad weather, and then what is the roof material, various roof materials but can become very slippery when it's wet or when it has snow on it. So these are all things to take into account really one of the hazards between where you are and where you're going.
Lawson:: [00:15:53] Now, a couple slides ago, we obviously saw the real life dangers, which are listed.
Lawson: [00:16:00] There are a few more to look out for.
Lawson: [00:16:04] So we've covered roof hatches, fixed ladders.
Lawson: [00:16:09] elevation changes are a big thing. So when you're when you're going across the roof, and you have to step up onto another roof or step down, especially if you're carrying tools and whatnot. This is a hazard it's easily, you can easily slip on the parapet and fall or trip and fall. So definitely not something to be
Lawson: [00:16:29] you need to be mindful of that.
Lawson: [00:16:31] We've covered walking paths that are close to the roof edge. We've touched on roof membrane types, solar panels, another the big thing. So often when people are building owners or putting solar panels on their rooftop, they take up as much space as possible to gather obviously the most energy. However not really considering any service workers accessing the panels or other items on their rooftop and pushing them out to walk around near the roof edge. So we're seeing an increase of this.
Lawson: [00:17:00] Skylight's, HVAC units, gas lines, we will cover those. And another thing that isn't really taken into into account often is bad weather. So what is the weather tendencies in the area that safety is being installed? Is there a possibility of high winds, snow
Lawson: [00:17:19] if you have to access a rooftop in the dark and a storm so these are all big hazards to take into account at all times.
Lawson: [00:17:30] So we've gone over identifying hazards. So what is it that there is available out there to overcome these
Lawson: [00:17:46] So, on the market today, there are various different types of equipment to protect you there's roof barrier, and guardrails for rooftops, warning lines and delineator lines, roof walkway systems, fixed ladders, ship's ladders, crossover step ladders, and rooftop unit platforms.
Lawson: [00:18:09] There's many different areas you'll need to consider the access to and in order to provide that safety security for your maintenance staff. So you want to make sure every roof has a permanent safety system installed. And it's not something that's just temporary or during construction this is for permanent use. And all these systems that I'm going to be going over are specifically designed for permanent use to get to rooftops.
Lawson: [00:18:39] I'm going to start off with one of the most popular types of equipment, which is the non penetrating self ballasted guardrail system. So
Lawson: [00:18:50] this is a completely non penetrating guardrail. It doesn't have to fix the roof or fix do anything in the building.
Lawson: [00:18:58] This is great because it's very simple to install. It's very if there's a hazard it's very quick to get it to the roof and install it you won't have to get additional contractors on the roof to complete it.
Lawson: [00:19:13] But you'll notice this system as well is completely modular so that means everything is pre assembled and it can be put together very quickly.
Lawson: [00:19:24] So you'll see the slide here kind of illustrates that it all comes to site in sections each number represents a pipe
Lawson: [00:19:32] and putting together a system like I've showed here on the left hand side takes two guys about half an hour to do.
Lawson: [00:19:41] So the way this is designed is using weighted base plates to ballast it to the roof and meet all the engineering, wind loads, etc. These base plates weigh 1[[00 pounds each. And between the base plate and the roof there's a rubber mat to protect the membrane so it doesn't void any roof warranty.
Lawson: [00:20:00] Is and it doesn't affect roof drainage.
Lawson: [00:20:05] Now everybody says Wow 1[[00 pounds, that's a lot of weight. It is and it's required to meet engineering. However, the way this is designed is it spreads the weight of a two foot by two foot square area.
Lawson: [00:20:17] That means this is putting less weight per square foot on the building than a person standing there. So
Lawson: [00:20:23] design and of use and design to protect the building or taking into account.
Lawson: [00:20:33] We also provide the Self Ballasted guardrail, which is architectural style. And the purpose of this guardrail is that it's more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. So if you're concerned what the building looks like, one of the available options is to have a lifeline or anchor system installed. However, like I mentioned earlier, it's not always practical to be used by the personnel going on the rooftop.
Lawson: [00:20:58] So this this is guardrail, because guardrails typically extend above the rooftop, they can be visible from the ground, but because this curves away from the roof edge, this diagram illustrates how it can be hidden from view.
Lawson: [00:21:13] So it's much more practical to use a system like this versus some kind of a lifeline or buntline system.
Lawson: [00:21:23] Excuse me.
Lawson: [00:21:27] Now, if you have an area where maybe a non penetrating system won't fit, or it just won't work, maybe you got a sloped roof,
Lawson: [00:21:36] we can provide a fixed guardrail system. And the purpose of this is to fix either to a parapet or a standing seam. And this, this slide shows three different scenarios of how this would work. So one picture is showing how the guardrails are paired with our walkways.
Lawson: [00:21:53] And the other picture on the right is showing how it fixes to a Corrugated Roof. And it's also leveled to meet them that meet the slope of the roof. And finally, we have a system fixing to a standing seam roof
Lawson: [00:22:07] which are which can also be non penetrating, which is illustrated in this slide.
Lawson: [00:22:15] So the way we install these, as you can see in the left hand corner is by using an S-5 clamp. This is a clamp that sits over the seam of the roof.
Lawson: [00:22:26] And it tightens up using a torque screw so it doesn't penetrate It's held in place by by a torque screw.
Lawson: [00:22:34] Now this is going to be the base that would fix our guardrail system too.
Lawson: [00:22:39] And we're able to install this on
Lawson: [00:22:42] any different type of standing seam roof. And so all we'll need to know is the type of roof you may have. And what kind of clamp will be required to meet your needs.
Lawson: [00:22:54] If it's not a standing seam roof you're dealing with or a sloped roof and you just want to fix it to a parapet or a concrete slab. We do also have a top mount and a side mount guardrail. So another solution if there is not enough room on the rooftop for a non penetrating guardrail.
Lawson: [00:23:19] Roof hatch safety is another underrated fall hazard we're often seeing it being overlooked. However, if a roof hatches the way you're accessing your building, this is going to be the most used access area of your rooftop.
Lawson: [00:23:34] Now, for those who have been up the roof hatch, have you ever left the roof hatch open,
Lawson: [00:23:40] I have to put my hand up and say that I have because I don't want to get up on the roof, shut the hatch and lock behind me.
Lawson: [00:23:49] So now in doing this, you now have an open hatch on the rooftop, which is now an opening in the working surface which is a hazard. So as you can see on the left hand side,
Lawson: [00:24:01] we have a roof hatch guard system, which surrounds the roof hatch, and it has a self closing gate. So this is preventing anybody from falling into the hatch. And as soon as you step through the gate, you don't have to worry about forgetting to close it, it automatically closes behind you.
Lawson: [00:24:18] And this will allow you also to maintain your three points of contact coming up through the ladder because you have something to hold on to as you exit the hatch as well.
Lawson: [00:24:30] On the right hand side, we have another scenario of a roof hatch. We kind of touched on that before but when we have roof hatches, right by the roof edge, clearly it's not. It's not six feet away from that hazard. So as soon as you get out of this, you're essentially going to fall off the edge of the roof.
Lawson: [00:24:46] So what we can provide in these situations is a non penetrating guardrail to surround that and protect people from these hazards.
Lawson: [00:24:54] Now I often see it being mistaken that if you put a hatch guard on a roof hatch
Lawson: [00:25:00] That's right by the roof edge, that workers are automatically protected. However, this isn't the case, because once you stepped out of the hatch guide, you're still not near the roof edge. So that's why in this situation, we would recommend a non penetrating guardrail along with a roof hatch guard for full protection.
Lawson: [00:25:25 ] Another product that pairs well with our roof barrier guardrail system is the warning line and bumpline systems.
Lawson: [00:25:33] So generally speaking, these systems would be used in an environment whether it's a large roof area, for example, large distribution centers.
Lawson: [00:25:44] Typically areas where guardrail isn't required, but you want to stop people from getting within a roof hazard.
Lawson: [00:25:52] So this is where the system is great. It's more cost effective than guardrail. And it will stop people from getting close to the roof edge. However, it doesn't replace the need for guardrail. If there is an area that needs to be serviced within the six feet of the roof edge, then that will need to be placed, it will bring people out away from the roof edge, and then we can attach the system to it and lead them away.
Lawson: [00:26:18] We also see this system being used for guide paths on a rooftop to ensure that people know where they need to go and don't go outside of that. We also see it being used for preventing people, people from getting close to other roof hazards on the rooftop, like we have in this example here, which is stopping people from getting close to a cryogenic vent, which releases harmful gases.
Lawson: [00:26:45] So the system comes it's a similar use a similar equipment to the roof barrier non penetrating guardrail, so it uses the base plates is completely non penetrating. The cables are rubber coated stainless steel, so everything's very long lasting. And it comes with aluminum flags which attached to the cable, so it's highly visible. So we I often see people installing bumpline systems on a rooftop that don't really have any of these features often see them blowing over coming out of place. This is this system is designed to be permanent. So it's it won't allow that to happen whether there's high wind, or someone trying to trip on it or walk into it.
Lawson: [00:27:33] So moving on to walkways. Now if you are looking to have a smooth walkway to wherever you're going, we have an aluminum walkway which is an excellent system that can be installed on sloped roofs, standing roofs or even flat roof areas.
Lawson: [00:27:51] So this is this has a purpose of providing confidence and safety to anybody using the area and they can walk around any of the roof walkway paths or units get up to different hard to get places. And these can be elevated or they can be placed in environments where there are a lot of ducts or roof drains or conduits you need to cross over. And it's ensuring that people don't step on any hazardous areas or tripping hazards.
Lawson: [00:28:22] A great design feature for this walkway is the fact that it's open grading so any kind of snow or ice that typically would build up on a roof. One frequently used product we see for roof walkways is concrete pavers. When it comes to winter, which is a huge part of
Lawson: [00:28:40] Ontario, I've counted as year. This doesn't work because all the snow and ice that builds up on it. But this allows that to fall through. And it's got a high grippy surface meaning that its grip year round.
Lawson: [00:28:55] So here's an example of a raised walkway. This one was installed on a flat roof. And this was designed to go from a penthouse
Lawson: [00:29:08] dark house exit door going to an elevator penthouse where they would service the unit so it's completely up to code. And it allows anybody that's going up to the roof, whether it's emergency service or there's high whether they're fully protected at all times. If it's dark, they don't have to worry about tripping on anything. It's a completely clear path.
Lawson: [00:29:36] Now moving on to fixed access ladders.
Lawson: [00:29:40] So access ladders are another one of the most frequently used methods of getting to the rooftop. And they're often overlooked when it comes to whether they meet code or not. It's very simple to go out to a steel fabricator and say weld me up a ladder and I'll put it in my building.
Lawson: [00:30:00] However, there's multiple codes and regulations relating to these. And they're there for a purpose. And because these are the most frequently used access points to get to the roof, it's not something to disregard because somebody could easily get hurt.
Lawson: [00:30:16] So, what we provide are aluminum ladders, the traditional, what is traditionally being used is steel. And the process you have to go through to get a steel ladder is you would have to come up with design, you'd have to get it fabricated, you'd have to get it galvanized or painted which is a process in itself.
Lawson: [00:30:34] And then you have to get it installed. If it doesn't meet the site conditions, whether there's an error or a site change, It would either get installed anyway and people just make it work when they're climbing the ladder or it'd have to be sent back in the shop to get adjusted.
Lawson: [00:30:51] Now, that's a big process. If you go with an aluminum ladder it's something that's in stock. So it's a pre-engineered system that's stocked, it can ship comes completely engineered and adjusted on site and being aluminum it's lightweight, very easy to put in place and install and it's also very long lasting, looks good for a very long time.
Lawson: [00:31:17] So there's a few different options that we can add on to our ladders. On the left hand side you can see a safety cage. So codes vary across the province but generally speaking ladders around 16 feet or higher requires safety cage.
Lawson: [00:31:33] That's generally speaking because codes change per area. So safety cages can be at it. Guard railings at the top to lead people 6 feet away from the roof edge, can be integrated as well.
Lawson: [00:31:46] We have various kinds of access prevention whether it's a cage gate that lock's in place or a lockable door that covers the first 7 to 8 feet of rungs.
Lawson: [00:31:58] And then, on the right hand side most provinces allow as well ladders to have lifelines. I know Quebec for sure doesn't allow it but I believe all the other provinces do.
Lawson: [00:32:10] So, this is another option where you can install a vertical lifeline around the length of the ladder. And that will replace the need for a cage.
Lawson: [00:32:16] So typically I see this being used on specialized locations like water towers, other service towers or pits.
Lawson: [00:32:28] Now, a big question that comes out with roof access ladders is how do you stop unwanted access to the rooftop? Everybody's worried about thieves getting up there or kids getting up there and somebody getting hurt and the building being liable for that.
Lawson: [00:32:45] We totally get it, typically what building owners do that aren't educated on codes and regulations is they cut the bottom of the ladder off. However that isn't the code and not only is it not the code, it's very sketchy because you have to set a temporary ladder up and then transfer. So what am I to do if I can't cut my ladder off?
Lawson: [00:33:10] So we have various solutions but the code is the ladder needs to come down to within 1 foot of the lower surface. So we can either install a lockable cage gate on the left hand side of the if we had a cage like that, we put a gate at the bottom of that which locks in place or we can put a lockable door in which I showed you on the previous slide.
Lawson: [00:33:38] If you are accessing the roof through a roof hatch
Lawson: [00:33:45] There could be a problem with the top side rails not being able to extend above the top rung so you can have continual 3 points of contact as you're exiting the ladder.
Lawson: [00:33:58] Safety code state that the top rails of the ladder need to be 3 feet. So how are we going to achieve that?
Lawson: [00:34:04] What we can provide is a retractable style set. So when the hatch is open, these extend up and will meet that code. You can pull yourself out of the hatch and it's safe. When you need to close the hatch you simply retract them and they, they come down so you can close the roof hatch.
Lawson: [00:34:23] There are some systems out there that are designed to fix directly to the center of the rung. Like one post that raises up. However be cautious when looking into that because, code states it has to be either side of the ladder and there's not an allowance for a single post in the center. So don't, be cautious when you're looking into that.
Lawson: [00:34:50] So, with different elevations in rooftops, we offer various different types of solutions to get you from one level to the next. One could be the ladders that we've already covered. However, typically in a roof that requires regular maintenance, the service personnel have to bring up various tools or equipment to the rooftop whether it's fan belts or filters whatever it may be.
Lawson: [00:35:16] So this can be a challenge if you're using a ladder. So sometimes ladders aren't the ideal solution to use. And that is why we offer a staircase solution.
Lawson: [00:35:27] They obviously make it much easier to carry things up to the next level with much less of an angle to get there.
Lawson: [00:35:38] Now when you're dealing with rooftop stairs, especially something of this size. It can add substantial load into the building and generally what has to happen is we need to is it needs to be fixed to the building structure. So it's a large project to do.
Lawson: [00:35:56] What we have come up with this is a fully aluminum system. Which is completely non-penetrating. So, as you can see there, it's ballasted to the roof. And being aluminum it's very easy to install these large components and at the same time it doesn't put a lot of loading on the rooftop itself.
Lawson: [00:36:16] Ships Ladders is another option. So it's a great solution for roofs that may not have enough room for roof stairs. Because it's much less of an angle and they're still an easier solution than a fixed ladder if you need to carry things to the next level.
Lawson: [00:36:33] These systems can also be installed in non-penetrating fashion. Again, giving peace of mind to the building owners by not going through the roof membrane. We can provide a fixed solutions to all these systems if it is required and even if it's not on the rooftop, If it's in the service area, whereas fixing the concrete or other materials similar to that.
Lawson: [00:36:55] And as you can see these systems can all be integrated whether it's to platforms or guardrails everything can be interrelated on projects to provide a completely integrated roof safety system.
Lawson: [00:37:11] Now, once you arrive at the units or are working around the units, there's often a lot of hazards and also typically it's raised up off the roof. So you can see here we have various solutions to overcome this.
Lawson: [00:37:28] Stairs systems to platforms and they have guardrails around them. To really making it much easier for work as having to open those access doors and service what's inside. As well as having ample space where they can set their tools down and move around.
Lawson: [00:37:48] Again these systems are completely non-penetrating and you'll notice actually on the left hand side picture this illustrates how our open grating allows snow and ice to fall through it. The rest of the roof has snow on it but our platforms are completely clear. So illustrating year round grip for these systems.
Lawson: [00:38:12] Roof screens are another item that are becoming more popular. Here we're showcasing a project we recently completed. The building owners wanted to hide any rooftop units that are visible on the rooftop. So increase, making the building look better. These systems are designed specifically as visual screens. I know there are systems out there that are supposed to dampen the noise. These are specifically visual screens.
Lawson: [00:38:43] So we're seeing a lot of grocery stores and other areas that have bi-laws regulating what could be on the rooftop. What can be seen on the rooftop. So this is why we're seeing a lot of these screens being used. Typically, what has happened in the past, is because these types of equipment have a high wind loading they've had to fix it to the structure of the roof and generally are designed into the building structure itself because they are a large item.
Lawson: [00:39:12] However, with increasing codes and bi-laws requiring screens, instead of starting a large project to install these, we've come up with a design that allows you to retrofit them to existing buildings.
Lawson: [00:39:33] So, by doing this we've come up with a completely non penetrating system and the design of it allows air to go through the louvers so there's not such a high wind load and at the same time not be not allowing any line of through the louvers from the ground.
Lawson: [00:39:54] Now next slide, is also always a very interesting slide. We understand that building owners want the best for their buildings. But it's important to understand that whatever you're putting on your rooftop, is gonna be in the most exposed area of your building. So in this situation, this walkway was mostly likely installed by a local handyman or carpenter. It sure looks great at first and I'm sure it was very cost effective. However, did that carpenter understand the codes, understand wind loading requirements for the specific areas. I wouldn't say they did in this. So anything that is going into your roof need to be very diligent that it's meeting engineering. Typically the rooftop is something that's out of sight out of mind but a lot of maintenance is happening up there a lot of people are accessing it. What if someone were on this when this happened? What if something blew off the roof and hurt someone in the ground? That'd be very tragic.
Lawson: [00:41:05] So, when you're dealing with roof safety, I recommend always going to a roof safety specialist company. They've already taken into account design loadings and on top of that they also design their equipment for buildings. And what I mean by that is that one time, I heard, heard about a client who installed a wood walkway and the carpenter was drilling and fixing the pieces of wood together on the roof. They're using screws a bit too long, everytime they screwed down they made a hole in the roof. so what happened to the cost savings going with a cheaper safety solution on rooftop ended up becoming a large repair project plus having to get an engineered equipment on the rooftop.
Lawson: [00:41:57] So, we all know safety is important and I recommend always going to the safety specialists to get an engineered, well produced product.
Lawson: [00:42:12] Now what do you need to take into consideration when you're reviewing products to be installed on your buildings and your sites? There's various questions to ask, so, penetrating versus non-penetrating we ask this question because with rooftops being at the mercy of every weather element, having a system that penetrates the roof membrane is gonna add additional entry points, for leaks and even if it's waterproof at first, it's a weak point on the rooftop. So it comes down to how easy is it going to be to install and how long is it going to remain waterproof.
Lawson: [00:42:57] How is the system manufactured? Will it come to site fully welded? or is it going to be coming to site in modular parts which are pre-assembled
Lawson: [00:43:07] So, modular systems we see as a having a benefit over completely pre-fabricated systems. As your roof grows you may need to umm or if there's additions or roof replacements you may need to add or take away from the systems that are up there.
Lawson: [00:43:07] You may need to adjust them. You may event want to remove them while you do the roof replacement then re-install them. So modular systems allow you to do that with ease. And once you come to site so once a system comes to site that's modular it can be adjusted on site. If a fully welded system comes to site, pre-made and site conditions have changed. It becomes a much higher cost
Lawson: [00:43:56] Product because you have to adjust you have to send it back adjust and then bring it back so it's a one and done deal if you do modular.
Lawson: [00:44:05] Another question to ask is do I need certified installers? with modular systems, generally you do not need certified installers. They're designed to be contractor friendly so it's easy to install. Mistakes won't be made because everything is made to code already. And then after it's something that you can send an engineer to site if required to certify the install. But typically it's something that comes to site with an engineered stamp and user manual that could just be installed as per and then instantly meet engineering.
Lawson: [00:44:41] And then lastly, what is the material that these equipment is being made from?
Lawson: [00:44:50] Steel can be very heavy. It can corrode over time, the paint can chip, the galvanizing can chip, so it'll start to look rowdy over time. Aluminum when it comes to so site it's lightweight, It won't chip or stain, It won't go rusty and it'll look good for a long time. Often aluminum materials can have a much longer warranty on them as well.
Lawson: [00:45:19] So why skyline group? What services, what value can skyline bring to you?
Lawson: [00:45:27] So if you have any projects, you can always reach out to someone that's local on your area and get expert advice
Lawson: [00:45:35] We can assess what your rooftop needs, we could if you are not a hundred percent sure what you want to happen on your rooftop we can assist with umm assessments we can come to site or we can do virtual rooftop reviews and help you out come up with a design.
Lawson: [00:45:56] We can provide you with budget pricing or designs for your projects have you come up with a preliminary project. We can provide you with sample drawings. Files which you can include in your drawings. We've done all the work upfront so that you don't have to and we also have fully complete specification detail sheets that you can include in your tenders or present to your clients when introducing these systems to them.
Lawson: [00:46:30] Lastly, our equipment itself it's in stock with a very quick turn around time. For standard products shop drawings take 2 to 3 days and then they can ship within 2 to 3 days once the drawings are approved. Custom product drawings will take around 6 days to complete and then once they're approved we have a maximum 4-week lead time for all of our custom equipment.
Lawson: [00:46:59] On top of this we are throughout Canada. We have representatives for each province who are knowledgeable about every single area. We have brick and mortar offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Perth. So we cover coast to coast. But the big thing being, we provide equal service wherever you are on Canada, so equal pricing, we have someone on call you can contact them any time local time and they'll know the exact codes that you're dealing with. And then equal service to shipping this to your site as well
Lawson: [00:47:39] So I have another poll question before I wrap it up and this question is here to ask if you're interested in learning more about Skyline's, what we have to offer and our services. So perhaps you may be interested in having a rooftop safety presentation done for your team on a specific topic that we went over here but didn't get to it in depth so we can do something that's more in depth towards that specific topic.
Lawson: [00:48:08] We can maybe you're looking for a roof safety and hazard review similar to this type of presentation
Lawson: [00:48:17] Maybe you want to learn more about the actual solutions that are available so if you'd like to learn about the various ways we can make the rooftop safer you can write down and let us know and then maybe you currently are working on a project right now and you're looking for someone to double check the roof first, the code, or have questions that you wanna bounce off a professional. So we'll give you another 10 seconds or so here to fill out this poll
Lawson: [00:49:01] Alright, perfect well we're gonna open up the floor now to questions Shane: I guess you would've been receiving various questions throughout this presentation so
Shane: [00:49:27] Hey there, yes uh thanks for the presentation there Lawson: and I yeah sorry apologies there it took me a minute to get unmuted
Lawson: [00:49:35] No worries
Shane: [00:49:36] But great presentation thank you for that. Yes we do have some questions coming in so let's get to some of those. First one here someone's looking for a bit of an explanation when you reference so they said ''please explain or provide reference to building owner liability, what do you mean by that?
Lawson: [00:49:56] Great question thank you for that. So I believe what they may be referencing is the Bill C-45. I'll go back to the slide so
Lawson: [00:50:09] This is in simple terms putting in place that if adequate safety wasn't provided somebody gets hurt on the building owner's building, they could be held criminally liable. Now obviously it's per situation but in general terms the person responsible for the building is also responsible to make sure that safety is in place for anybody accessing the roof. They have to ensure that anybody accessing the roof has correct safety certifications in whatever field they're working. So that's in simple terms what this bill is relating to. And this is a widely available code as well that you or anybody would be able to delve into further.
Shane: [00:50:55] Yeah, a very serious situation there. Criminal negligence charges, nothing to mess with. Absolutely
Lawson: [00:51:03] Absolutely
Shane: [00:51:04] So we have another question coming in this is from Elaine Constantine, asking leasing building owner arranges for maintenance and installation of HVAC Systems. What is our responsibility? So I think she's referring to our, as in the person who is leasing the building
Lawson: [00:51:24] Yes, that's a great question. So my understanding of this, I would actually recommend because I'm not a specialist on criminal code, I'm just a specialist on roof safety. I would recommend looking into that, I would say from my understanding of it, that the building owner is responsible, but I would recommend that should be looked into by referencing this bill specifically. I'm not a specialist on criminal law itself.
Shane: [00:51:56] You know , I think that this would fall under a constructor employer relationship. So if you're leasing the building then you're an employer. But you know, it's a great question. Are you responsible for the workers who show up to do work on your building? I think it would, I think responsibility would mainly fall with the constructor. Which would essentially be the owner in this case and less on the employer but it is something worth, worth looking in and having a closer look perhaps with somebody who has more of a legal expertise. Yeah okay
Shane: [00:52:34] So we have another question coming in here. This is from John, If the roof units and access are in the middle of the roof, would fall protection still be needed?
Lawson: [00:52:47] That's a great question. So the short answer is if you are getting within 6 feet of a 10 foot mark drop that is when it'll be required. So if you're worker working on a unit has to get within that then no, if they're not having to get within that zone, you don't require it. However, there are various code organizations out there for different provinces that have codes relating to specific items. And one of them, just to give you a quick example is TSSA when it comes to elevator penthouses, if you have to access an elevator penthouse. Even if you're in the middle of the roof and you're a hundred feet from the roof edge. They require a walkway with a guardrail. So depending on each province because there's multiple different organizations across Canada. If you wanted to delve into that deeper, I'm happy to look at that. But assuming it's a an RTU like cooling tower or something like that, If it's if you're strictly speaking about the hazard of falling off the edge of the roof, then it wouldn't, It wouldn't be required. But there again, there are also various hazards at the units. Sometimes on cooling towers there's raised access doors or areas where you have to access motors or fans that's a completely different ball game where you'd have to take care of workers accessing that, even if it's in the middle of the roof obviously. So I would be happy to discuss that further if you have a specific application you wanted to go over. I would make myself available for sure.
Shane: [00:54:32] Okay we have somebody else here, anonymous person saying you know they're wondering if you can tie off, tie off to a standing seam or free-standing roof barriers. So can you tie off to standing seam or free standing roof barriers?
Lawson: [00:54:51] Awesome, thanks for that question. The short answer is no. These are not rated for tying off. There are specific anchors, systems designed. I know for sure there's ballasted anchors that are designed for flat roofs and there are non-penetrating standing seam anchors that designed specifically for that purpose. Guardrails are not designed for that. You you're not you shouldn't tie off to a guardrail.
Shane: [00:55:19] Right. Okay, so do not tie up to a guardrail. There you have it. Now we have somebody sort of making a comment here a couple of comments about there not being a six-foot rule in Ontario. Bump Lines must form a perimeter with or without guardrails, So I guess you know, no real question here, but I guess my question to you Lawson would be, is it just Ontario that doesn't have this 6 foot rule and does it exist in all the other provinces?
Lawson: [00:55:45] Yeah, so this is where it comes down to multiple different codes so there's nothing, for instance mentioned about six foot in the building code but when you come to TSSA which is an Ontario organization they require that any units within six and a half feet they require some kind of full protection or there's ministry of labor anywhere you're in, within six feet of a 10 foot mark drop you require full protection and each province will have their own different organizations regulating this. Generally speaking, it's across Canada but I know list, I provided a list of various different organizations which regulate this and sometimes one is vague and another one comes in and is more stringent. So there's multiple different codes that you really need to know about and we can actually be a resource for you if you had, If you wanted to get into this deeper. We have, we keep very up to date on as a company we keep up very up to date on specific codes for each area. And we can, we can get more in depth with it.
Shane: [00:56:53] I, I you know this comes up often where you know things can there's, there's a lot of gray zone and in safety you don't like gray zones right? You want things to be clear. Right?
Lawson: [00:57:04] Absolutely
Shane: [00:57:05] Yeah let's get to a few other questions here. What's the best way to restrict public access to a ladder and staircase system?
Lawson: [00:57:15] So that, that's a very good point and an ongoing challenge because people are all up to the roof for one, one reason or another. When it comes to roof access ladders, there's a couple different options. We can provide a lockable door that covers the first seven to eight feet of rungs. We actually have a door that wraps around the back of the ladder because we found that people tried to bypass it in various ways using the brackets behind or whatever. So that's one option. Another option you can do is provide is a lockable cage gate. So if you have a safety cage on the ladder, it completely blocks off and locks in place the cage.
Shane: [00:57:58] Oh wow okay. Well that sounds like you know sounds sounds like it would be very helpful, if you need to you know block that off. Okay another one here and this one sort of pertains to, to weather. And I think, you know it's very fitting since you know I know in Canada we're seeing a lot of very different types of weather this, this summer. So it says my roof is extremely windy and doesn't, It doesn't help with maintenance, do you have any solution to create a safer perimeter?
Lawson: [00:58:32] Absolutely. So I have done a few projects on rooftops that say close to the roof to a lake where all the wind comes off a lake and blows across the roof and even if you're in the middle of the roof it's actually a bit scary to be on them and I guess it's what they're talking about cause it can blow you around a little bit. My suggestion there would be to install a pathway whether it's with a non-penetrating guardrail system or a walkway system to where you need to go and protect it with guardrail. A guardrail is designed to stop someone from falling on it so whatever if a big gust of wind comes along worst case scenario that guardrail is gonna stop you. That would be my suggestion. But I mean, obviously things change per rooftop and I actually left my contact details in the last slide so if you want a review on that and a solution tailored to that roof, please reach out and I'd be very happy to get more specific with it
Shane: [00:59:38] Well there you go for all of you attending, there is Lawson contact information. Reach out to him. Fire him off your questions I know there are probably many more of you out there with plenty of questions on this topic it comes up quite often with health and safety professionals and experts. But that is all the time we have for today so I wanna say thank you to Lawson. Lawson Ghinn, roof safety specialist with the Skyline Group. Lawson thanks for this great presentation today.
Lawson: [1:00:11] It's been a pleasure Shane. Thank you very much.
Shane: [1:00:14] Awesome. And to all of you who attended a reminder that we will be sending out a recording of this webinar so you can go back and have a listen and look at some of the slides that Lawson: provided. So again, thank you all for attending thank you to Lawson: and hope everybody has a great rest of the day. Stay Safe.
Lawson: [1:00:31] Thank you