Safety is the top priority on any construction site, especially when working on rooftops and at tall heights. Having a proper fitting and functioning safety rail system not only protects workers from accidents and falls but also keeps your site within OSHA compliance. One of the most common mistakes made when installing a railing system is placing it too close or too far from the edge of the roof. Having them placed at the correct distance is crucial for ensuring maximum safety and their overall effectiveness. Depending on the type of project and the area of the roof being worked on, there may be a different recommended distance for safety rails to be placed. In this blog, we will discuss how to determine how far your construction safety rails should be placed from the rooftop’s edge and how Atlantic Equipment can help you find the right products to plan a layout.

safety roof railing and hatch

Safety Railing Systems Create a Secure Rooftop Construction Site & Prevent Falls

Construction can be a dangerous job, especially for roofing projects. Working at taller heights or on an uneven surface increases the risk of falls and other accidents. To prevent as many accidents as possible, it is essential to have safety railing systems in place. These railings provide a barrier between workers and the edge of the roof, reducing the risk of falls and creating a secure work area. According to OSHA, any construction site above 6 feet or more must have protective railings in place. This regulation applies to all types of rooftops, including flat and sloped roofs.

What Distance from the Edge Should You Install Safety Rails on a Roofing Construction Site?

According to OHSA, safety rails should be placed at least 6 feet from the roof’s edge. This distance is calculated from the closest point of the rail to the edge of the rooftop. However, depending on the project and other factors, such as weather conditions or equipment being used, this distance may need to be adjusted.

Safety Rails Should Be Further from the Edge When Raining or Snowing

Weather conditions can significantly affect the safety distance for construction safety rails. Slippery surfaces caused by rain or snow increase the risk of falls, making safety rails placed further from the edge necessary. Windy conditions can also affect the distance, as strong gusts can push workers off balance and closer to the danger zone. Having a wider barrier can protect your crew.

Stay Further Away from the Edge When Using Heavy Equipment

Operating equipment on a roof can be challenging and increase the risk of accidents. To ensure maximum safety, it is recommended to have safety rails placed further from the edge when using heavy machinery or equipment. This distance should be adjusted based on the size and type of equipment being used.

Railing Systems Can Be Placed Closer to Rooftop Edge when Using Personal Fall Arrest Kits

Fall arrest kits offer a high level of protection for rooftop workers. They include a safety harness, retractable lifeline, and anchors that can catch falling workers in an emergency. When using these systems, safety rails can be placed closer to the edge of the rooftop, as the fall arrest kit provides an extra layer of security.

Contact Atlantic Equipment to Get a Free Estimate on Construction Safety Equipment in Massachusetts, Florida, New York, & Across the East Coast

At Atlantic Equipment, we offer a wide range of safety equipment to protect your site and your crew. We are a top distributor of Garlock, Guardian, and Palmer Safety products, ensuring all of our equipment meets the highest safety standards. From slab grabbers and skylight guards to fall arrest kits and safety carts, we have everything you need to match OSHA standards and keep your workers safe from start to finish. To learn more and view our full selection of available products, call us at 800-543-3350 or visit us online!