If you have an issue with your fall protection equipment detracting from the aesthetics of your building then a collapsible guardrail might be the answer. In this blog we look at when you may need this important edge protection solution and how to go about specifying it.
When do I need a collapsible guardrail?
There are many reasons why you may want to retain an uninterrupted roofline, and if you do, then you need a collapsible guardrail that can’t be seen from the ground. For example, you may have a requirement for collapsible guardrails in any of the following situations:
- If your building is Listed
- If it is a heritage building
- A building in a Conservation Area
- Any other building where aesthetics are important
- An older building
- If a non-collapsible guardrail would materially alter the shape of your building
- If there are planning rules that restrict the overall height of the building
What regulations apply to guardrails?
There is no distinction made between collapsible and non-collapsible guard rails. However, following these standards will ensure that your system is compliant irrespective of how it operates.
- Workplace Health Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992
- The Building Regulations Part K 2013 – requires a guardrail to be a minimum of two horizontal rails with a minimum height of 1100mm
- EN 14122-3 Safety of machinery. Permanent means of access to machinery, stairways, stepladders and guardrails 2010
- EN 13374 Temporary Edge Protection Systems – Product Specification, Test Methods 2013.
- The Work at Height Regulations 2005 – solutions need to be suitable and sufficient to ensure prevention of both persons and objects from falling.
- HSE INDG 284 “Working on roofs”
- BS 6399 Part 1 Loading for Building 1996 – guardrails must be able to withstand a uniformly distributed load of 0.74kN per metre and a point load of 0.5kN.
- BS 6399 Part 2 Code of Practice for Wind Loading 1997
- Construction Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1996
- HSE Health & Safety in Roof work 2012
- HSG-33 Health and Safety in Roof Work
What are the benefits of a collapsible guardrail?
The principal reason why collapsible guardrails are specified is because they fold down out of sight when not in use. This can be an important consideration on the kinds of buildings we mentioned above. Once folded down, they cannot be seen from ground level.
They also offer a number of other benefits, such as:
- Simple and cost effective method of creating freestanding rooftop Edge Protection
- Provides collective protection for anyone working or accessing a roof
- No penetration of the roof membrane with our collapsible guardrail
- Can be used on concrete, asphalt, PVC membrane and felt roof surfaces
- Modular design allows reconfiguration on site if needed
- Can be used on flat roofs up to 10 degrees slope
What is Heightsafe’s Collapsible Guardrail?
This is our freestanding, easy to assemble, Collapsible Rooftop Guardrail that folds down when not in use to comply with requirements for listed, older and historical buildings. It offers a number of benefits including:
- Non penetrative
- Easy to collapse and lift in 10m modular sections
- Sturdy design for permanent raised fit, if required
- Eco-conscious use of recycled tyres for weights
How do I use a collapsible guardrail?
When your maintenance team needs to access the roof, our collapsible guardrail easily and quickly folds back into the upright position and is fixed using stainless steel wing nuts.
We designed it in 10m modular sections that can be connected together with pre-galvanised sleeves fixed with stainless steel grub screws. It’s important to use stainless steel as it doesn’t rust, which means that your maintenance teams can securely fix it in an upright position. It uses an ultra-strong hinged brackets that allows the system to easily fold back on itself (never forwards towards the roof edge).
It is held in position by 20kg weights that are made from eco-friendly recycled vehicle tyres. These stabilising feet are positioned every 2.5 metres along the roof – you can see them in the photograph here. This makes the system completely freestanding and means there is no requirement to drill into the roof surface, which could result in leaks.
How do I install a collapsible guardrail?
At Heightsafe Systems we offer a full design and installation service for our collapsible guardrails. As part of this we can undertake surveys and produce CAD drawings.
For more information on our collapsible guardrails, visit: https://www.heightsafesystems.com/products/guardrail-systems/collapsible-folding-guardrail or call: 020 3819 7199.