Construction sites are highly hazardous places, making workers vulnerable to many occupational risks. Even though the construction industry is considered as a risky business, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to mitigate risks or prevent them from happening.
There are various technological and construction innovations to prevent occupational hazards from occurring, such as falling from heights. To have a full perspective on what fall prevention systems can do, let’s take a look at some tools to mitigate construction site hazards.
Common construction site hazards
Before we jump into the subject, defining what makes a construction site a hazardous place to work is relevant.
A construction site is not a playground. The environment is filled with components, cement, wires, steels, and other hazardous materials. Also, large machinery and equipment is being manoeuvered and is operating on the ground.
The construction industry records numbers of worker fatalities every year. However, it is imperative to stress that hazards in construction sites can depend on what type of activity is carried out.
For example, building skyscrapers with scaffolding presents different occupational hazards compared to working with asbestos.
Here are the most common construction site hazards:
- Working at height
- Slips and trips
- Falling objects
- Collapsing trenches and scaffolding
In the latest Basic Life Support (BLS) annual report released in the United States in 2019, it shows that casualty rates in construction sites rose up to 4% in 2018 with 33.5% of the total percentage are fall related accidents. This makes working at height as the most common construction site hazard. It is the reason why there are firm guidelines and safety training in ensuring such hazards will be prevented.
Prevention matters most
Since the US construction industry is prone to occupational risk, there are established strict guidelines and implementation of standard rules to ensure safe working conditions for all workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards oversee every employer’s methods to guarantee the safety of their workers, which is why OSHA standards should be observed in every construction site.
Moreover, the OSHA also covers construction material certification to products that passed the requirements stipulated in their fall protection systems criteria. This is to ensure that all manufacturers of fall protection systems, like rooftop railings and guardrails, comply with the said provision.
Importance of Rooftop Railings
Accidents at work are a constant risk, especially in an industry where there is a high level of fatality and casualty rates. Hence, safety is treated with the utmost importance. And one critical step in ensuring workers’ safety is installing rooftop railings.
What makes rooftop railings an integral part of ensuring workers’ safety?
Both construction and maintenance in high places puts every worker in a dangerous position, that’s why the installation of rooftop railings is very important.
Rooftop railings are one of the most effective fall prevention systems in the construction industry. Their primary role is to avoid and prevent workers from being exposed to any occupational hazard that involves falling from a height. Even after the construction phase ends, rooftop railings still serve as a protection for anyone who has access to the rooftop, such as maintenance staff.
Availability of Non-Penetrable Rooftop Railings
There are a lot of quality made rooftop railings available in the market, and one of these is the Accufit railing. Accufit railing is a ready-to-install rooftop railing that requires no penetration of the building’s structure. It is a pipe and fitting system with three different stanchions (straight, curve, designer) that provide both safety and attractive design to the entire building.
This type of rooftop railing also complies with the US OSHA Fall Protection standards. The Accufit railing system is a certified OSHA compliant material as it follows and complies with all the guidelines and requirements stated in the regulation standards. This includes protocols, such as the height of the railing system being 42″ above working or walking level.
It also meets the OSHA guardrail standards (1926.502), stating that “Guardrail systems shall be capable of withstanding, without failure… .” The Accufit railing system provides such assurance as it utilizes ballasted bases that are made of approximately 100 pounds of cast iron finish. It can be powder coated with the standard safety yellow or galvanized, depending on the preference of the site’s manager.
This rooftop railing system is engineered for quality and durability. With its robust and refined manufacturing, it is highly reliable for preventing risks at height in a construction site or later in the completed building.
Rooftop Railing System for Design
It is a thing in the past where rooftop railing systems were designed only for securing workers’ safety. Even though that is still its primary role, thanks to never-ending construction and building innovation, rooftop railing systems now improve the building’s overall look and design.
Nowadays, the rooftop railing system is utilized to cater for both occupational hazard prevention and aesthetic purposes. You can now see rooftops being surrounded by rooftop railings that contribute to the building’s entire physical appearance.
The Accufit railing system, for one, is the best choice for this kind of rooftop railing system. You can custom pick the color to match and fit what project you have in mind for your rooftop. Also, because it has three different stanchions, it gives building owners more design options.
This new trend of using rooftop railing is common when buildings’ rooftops are designed to accommodate recreational activities or used as a commercial space. Some building rooftops are constructed as green roofs where they house community gardens.
Danger at work is ever present, most notably in the construction industry. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent work at height accidents from happening by installing rooftop railings. This will protect workers by maximizing their safety and training them to use a rooftop railings system. With endless innovation, rooftop railings are made not only to protect but also to add style and design to the building.
Richard Perkins is a freelance writer and contributor based in Oakland, California.