Protecting A/C Units With Fall Security – Security Blog Site – Simplified Security

Does this appearance familiar?

HVAC systems are typically found near the edge of your roof. Why we demand putting them there might make sense to the architect or mechanical installer. However, it postures a major risk to all who require to maintain it.

You’re not comfy sending your individuals out there, and those who you contract are needing fall security remain in place already.

What do you do?

It is easy to state, “Well just slap some guardrail up there and you need to be fine.” While that might hold true, a number of clarifying concerns need to be attended to. For how long does the rail need to be? What if I do not have space for a railing? How strong does the railing need to be?

To streamline this process, we will walk you through how our safety consultants review a problem like this and provide you a concrete method to solve not just the HVAC security, but how to create a safe work environment as a whole.

To begin, we need to deal with why fall security is needed in the first place.

What does OSHA state?

Anywhere the level modification is 4′ or more, a type of fall protection needs to be in place. If you want to dive into the specifics, here is a link to the OSHA code 1910.28( b)(1)(i)( A-C ). If you’re working or strolling within 15 ‘of a fall danger, fall security needs to be in location. That can be found in 1910.28 (b)(13) (i-iii)(A, B). For a simpler guide to understanding the ranges at which fall defense

is required, download our ebook here. With this understanding in mind, our safety

specialists will limit the very best safety plan and options based on a few questions. Again

, we are concentrated on safety as an entire, not just the HEATING AND COOLING in concern. 1)How far down from the roofing system’s edge is the next level? That will be the first product to validate. What is your actual fall clearance? Understanding your fall distances from the roofing system surface area to any blockages below is crucial when choosing a fall defense system.

Factor being that if your fall clearance is too short, a fall arrest system will not be certified and may not ‘capture’ you in time before striking the ground. Fall arrest systems are designed to stretch to reduce the impact of the fall. Extending takes some time and needs a more fall.

Keep in mind that the “next level” can be another roof, a tree, and prospective truck driving into a dock, anything that you might hit from falling in that area.

2) How do you access the roof?

As safety consultants, we require to see the whole image to guarantee the best safety system is advised. Just accessing your roofing system can be far more harmful than servicing the HEATING AND COOLING system.

Whether it be a hatch, ladder, or even stairs, it is most likely that you will be exposed to a fall threat during your ascent, descent, and/or traveling to and from the A/C system.

If you take a ladder for example, by the time you step off the ladder, you are right away exposed to a fall danger. You are well within 15′ of the edge, suggesting some type of fall defense needs to be in place.

3) How do you get from the gain access to point to the work area?

Now that your gain access to point is protected, you need to now scale the roofing system to reach your wanted area. In a perfect world, that would be a straight line preventing any and all fall threats by a minimum of 15′. Sadly, that is rarely truth.

If your path to the unit takes you within 15′ of the fall hazard, fall security will be required in that location. Depending on the fall defense system you choose, it can all be incorporated into a single system.

4) How far from the roof’s edge is the HVAC unit?

Now that you’ve finally made it to the working location, identifying how much of that roofing system edge needs protection can be confusing. Essentially, for any place, you might need to stand, draw a line diagonally to the roofing system’s edge at least 15′ away.

This will be the bare minimum length of the defense required. It’s not that simple. Other aspects including how frequently you require to gain access to this location and for the length of time determine essential protection.

Once again, for a full understanding of this idea, please download and examine our ebook on the subject. This info in addition to an image or more will offer us a fairly extensive understanding of the roof conditions. Now it’s time to weigh your alternatives.

What are the choices?

For that, we need to go back to what OSHA says. OSHA 1910.28 (b) (1) (i) provides you three alternatives for fall protection

: Let’s go through each option briefly to get a much better understanding of the requirements and where they ‘d be a great fit.

Guardrail, or security railing, can be found in two kinds; mounted railing and non-penetrating railing.

Guardrail is determined as a passive system, indicating it does not need anything of the worker for the system to protect them. This indicates it is inherently taking human mistake out of the fall security, making it a safer service.

This kind of fall protection needs minimal engineering and typically is offered in pre-engineered product lines.

The downside is that it’s usually visible on your rooftop.


Security internet, more typically discovered throughout construction of brand-new structures, is now a practical choice for a fall arrest system.

Still thought about a passive fall protection system, the most significant distinction in between this and guardrail is that you can in fact fall off the roofing.

The netting will need to be connected to the structure, needing a particular quantity of engineering. As it will require to catch a person falling, regular examinations of the netting and attachments are needed.

Personal Fall Arrest, Travel Restraint, Positioning Systems

Including PPE products such as anchor points, harnesses, lanyards, SRL’s, these types of fall defense are thought about an active fall protection system. Active fall security requires the employee to take action to be safeguarded.

This presents human error, making it a less safe option over passive systems. Anytime anchor points are presented into a fall protection system, OSHA needs a”qualified individual “to approve the attachment. This would relate to a structural engineer on site helping in the project. Still not exactly sure what system to use? If you have a scenario where

an A/C is dangerously near to the edge of

your roof and would like help on how to finest protect it, provide us a call at 1-866-527-2275. It’s finest to understand your alternatives so you can make the best decision for the safety and budget of your organization. Compliance does not require to be costly, and at the end of the day, safety is paramount.


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