Edge protection on a roof
Written by altusadmin

What is Edge Protection?

Edge protection on a roof


Your safety matters to us. To show this, we provide some of the best fall protection equipment available, along with knowledge and expertise on industry news and standards throughout our blog. In addition, we understand that working from height is one of the most dangerous places of work in the UK, so we feel it is essential to share information about how you can ensure your business is operating safely.
Today, we’re looking into edge protection. We will explain what it is, what it does, and why you need it to comply with the law.
We will also look into the various types of edge protection, what they each do, and the benefits of different options. Finally, we’re here to help you, which is why we’re exploring how Altus Safety can assist you with your project and provide the best roof edge protection available on the market.


What is Edge Protection and What Does it Do?

Edge protection, or roof edge protection, is a safety measure in the form of guardrails and handrails. These levels of protection are put into place when working at height is unavoidable. They are installed on roofs to prevent people from falling from high to lower levels.
Edge protection is implemented on the roofs of various buildings, where people may need to access frequently. These buildings include warehouses, factories, football stadiums, and hospitals. Additionally, you can choose to use edge protection when completing building work on a structure.
However, edge protection is not just for rooftops. This type of fall protection equipment may also be implemented on train station platforms and in large stadiums or arenas, with the same intention – to prevent falls.


Workmen working at height on a rooftop


Edge Protection and the Law

Edge protection isn’t just put into place to protect you and your employees; several laws and regulations require you to have the proper edge protection. The Working at Height Regulations (2005) list multiple regulations for edge protection, such as guardrails. For example, the top guardrail must be at least 950mm above the edge from where someone could fall for construction work. So, it’s crucial to look into the laws for your industry.
If you do not comply with these regulations, you are putting yourself and your employees in danger and opening them up to risks that could be fatal. Additionally, if you do not have the proper protection in line with the law, your business is also at risk, and you will be liable as the company owner.


What Are the Different Types of Edge Protection?

Edge protection isn’t just one product; it is a broad term used for various types of roof safety equipment. We supply a wide variety of these edge protections here at Altus Safety. Let’s take a look at your options to give you more information on each type to help you decide which is right for you and your business.


Freestanding Handrails and Guardrails

Freestanding handrails and guardrails tend to be the preferred method of edge protection should working at height be completely unavoidable. Freestanding guardrail systems are, as you would expect, absolutely freestanding, eliminating the need for any drilling or penetration to the roof. In addition, they are incredibly lightweight, with the balance weight often only weighing less than 20kg, meaning they’re easy to move when needed. However, once fitted together, they become solid, providing maximum safety to everyone who uses them. There is a long list of benefits that come with choosing freestanding handrails and guardrails, including their ease of installation and lack of training required to use them.


Edge protection on a rooftop


Collapsible Handrails and Guardrail

Collapsible guardrail systems are an aesthetically pleasing choice of roof edge protection due to their folding feature, which makes them completely invisible from floor level. Once erected, they work the same way as the freestanding handrails and guardrails by preventing falls to lower levels. They have similar advantages to the above, such as being lightweight and very simple to install. However, they also come with the benefit of not being visible to those on the ground. Thus, folding edge protection is perfect for buildings where the aesthetics of the architecture is important.


Fixed Guardrails

Fixed guardrails and handrails have all the same safety features as those discussed above, but with the added quality of being fixed into the roof permanently. They can be fixed onto various substrates such as standing seam, composite, and built-up roofs, making them an excellent choice for many buildings. For example, fixed guardrails and handrails are a great solution for minimising space on the roof or to bring an existing parapet wall up to correct height standards. Additionally, fixed guardrails and handrails offer no obstructions, meaning there is less chance of trips or falls.


Clamp Handrails

Clamp handrails have a flexible integral design, allowing you to build them around complex and unusual shapes. In addition, they are made from adjustable brackets, which can be used at various heights and angles – making them the perfect choice for those who don’t have a conventional roof shape. Similarly to the freestanding and collapsible guardrails and handrails, a clamp handrail system easily moves when needed and require no drilling or penetration to the roof. Due to this factor, they are an excellent, cost-effective method of roof edge protection.


How Can Altus Safety Help?

All the roof edge protection discussed in this blog is available at Altus Safety. In addition, they comply with a long list of standards, all of which you can find on their respective information pages on our website.
Not only do we provide the equipment, but we can also conduct the inspections needed every 12-months to comply with the law. So, if you are looking for a working at height specialist, please get in touch to find out what we can do for you.
We hope that this blog has been helpful, and you now have a better understanding of roof edge protection, its importance, and which equipment is best for you. For more information, check out our website or call us on 0330 113 0870.

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