Skylights are a wonderful accent for commercial and residential properties. With commercial properties such as shopping malls, office buildings and apartment buildings skylights can do a great deal to add to the beauty and abundance of light coming in to the interior of the buildings. But as with any window and outer doorway from upper levels, there are precautionary measures that should be adhered to for safety. Both skylights and roof hatches can be hazardous for anyone who may be involved in doing any kind of roof work, maintenance or repairs.
On many commercial properties, roof hatches have become a standard entryway for people to gain access to the roofs of many commercial and office buildings. However, roof hatches are also found in higher rise apartment buildings, retail stores, outlets and malls. These roof hatches are designed to allow access for work and maintenance to be done on the roof of a building without climbing a ladder to gain access. They can provide safe and easy access for owners of any of these types of buildings. However, as with skylights, there are words of caution for these types of accesses that property owners should adhere to.
For both skylights and roof hatches on all commercial and multi-unit residential property, there are OSHA compliance regulations that are designed to ensure the safety of people at a property. These OSHA skylight fall protection guidelines and roof hatch safety guidelines are designed for the protection and safety of all tenants, maintenance people and repair people that are at a property that has skylights and roof hatches. OSHA skylight fall protection guidelines state that all skylights and roof hatches need to be protected to prevent falls. The guidelines state that all skylights should be protected with skylight screens. The screens should adhere to OSHA standards and be able to withstand weights of up to 200 pounds. The screens that are marketed specifically for the purpose of using them on commercial property skylights have been designed with specific standards for weight bearing. The standard OSHA requirements require that skylight screens should be of such construction as to ensure that under ordinary impact or load situations the screen will stay intact and not deflect downwards causing the glass in the skylight to shatter or break. Roof hatchways under OSHA guidelines state that these roof hatches must have railings around all exposed sides of the roof hatch entrance. These railings are designed to ensure that no-one that is working on a properties roof for maintenance or repairs, becomes injured by coming upon the hatchway entrance unexpectedly. The guard rails offer a significant barrier of protection against falls into the hatch. Before installing a skylight screen, or roof hatch guard rails, owners of a property should ensure that the products used are meet the basic OSHA standards for safety and are installed properly.