Ladder access, handrail, walkway, anchor points and fixed static lines to roofs
Ladder access can be supplied either by fixed caged ladder access or a fixed point were a temporary ladder can be positioned so as the top of the ladder can be fastened to a fixed point. Supplied in both steel and aluminium.
Handrail is required when a person is placed in a position usually governed by an unsafe working height. They can be either installed as a temporary measure or as a fixed in place permanent installation. Usually supplied in aluminium as ease of installation is quicker and requires less maintenance than a steel system. Steel is also available in a bolt together system, however the weight of the products and the occasional weld on site requirements make it less desirable for installation.
Walkways can be supplied in steel, aluminium and fiberglass. In earlier years timber was used, however the life span of the timber was not a real option. Getting the timber structure certified would also be a thing of the past.
The aluminium walkway comes in 2 grades, light (13 mm) and heavy (22 mm) construction. The systems now come in a very installation friendly package and usually there is no on site welding required.
Fibrelgass is also supplied in a very installation friendly package. Additional to this aluminium and fiberglass have no real corrosion issues with most roofing products on the market. However again we must stress that the installation of product, support and fasteners will dictate the lifespan of both products and the roofing materials.
Roof anchor points can be supplied in either temporary or fixed units. Although roof anchor points have become very popular as a quick fix solution to roof access they require yearly inspections if they are to be used. Their life expectancy is yet to be clearly stated and where there is a roof anchor point there is a roof penetration. The roof anchor points usually rely on a silicone-based product that relies on pressure for a watertight finish. With the expansion and contraction on most long runs of roof sheeting one has to question the reasoning over roof anchors verses other OH&S systems for roof access and cleaning.
Fixed static lines to roofs;
Most static lines to roof are designed for a loading of only 2-x personnel at any one time. They are all hooked up to the static line with harnesses via lanyards. If the roof is a fragile roof and the first person falls through the roof, one has to ask the following question:
If the roof structure has failed with the weight of one person, and the system is only designed for two persons, how would 1 person be able to stand in the same area to retrieve the other person without also placing himself at risk trying to retrieve the other?
Again yearly inspections are a requirement and life span of this type of system is not clear.