10% of all fatalities in the roofing trade are a result of falling through a skylight. If your facility has skylights, there are steps you can take to protect anyone accessing your roof, including employees and external vendors.

  • Always review where skylights are from INSIDE the building if the ceiling permits view
  • Create a rooftop map to highlight all roof penetrations like skylights and HVAC units
  • Never allow skylights to be coated with the same color as the roof
  • If possible, install guards around the skylights.

OSHA dictates that anyone working around rooftop skylights should be protected from falls through personal fall arrest systems, covers or guardrail systems.

  • A personal fall arrest system should include a full body harness, connectors such as a self-retracting lifeline (SRL), shock-absorbing lanyard, or vertical lifeline assembly and an appropriate anchor point on the roof.
  • Covers need to be able to support DOUBLE the weight of workers including equipment/tools. Covers need to be clearly marked either by color coding or with words such as “HOLE” or “COVER.” A cover must be secured so that nothing can accidentally cause it to move, such as wind, equipment or employees.
  • Guardrails will act as a barrier between the skylight and anyone on the roof. These are ideal for rooftops where snow cover may inhibit the view

Commercial roofing skylights can be beneficial to buildings but should always be properly maintained. Making sure your skylights are protected with covers or guardrails, properly training anyone accessing the roof and following the proper documentation steps will help to prevent dangerous incidents on your roof.