On most construction sites worker safety is a priority. The union, management, and individual employees know that a safe workplace is in their interest and everyone involved should be working to make sure that’s what they get. However, ensuring the safety of those on the site isn’t all that’s required.
The public must also be considered. Most construction sites are in densely populated towns and cities and there will inevitably be people passing by during working hours. Those people have to be protected from falling debris, stray materials, and other potential dangers. The legal duty of construction companies and contractors is very clear on this point.
We all know that falling objects accelerate fast. Even something as small as a mobile phone can be lethal when dropped from a great height, and the edge protection measures that prevent workers from falling may not prevent everything from going over the edge. A guardrail may save a worker’s life, but it won’t guarantee that a brick from his load won’t drop through it.
In some cases your company may be required to close walkways or cover them with protective roofing (always double check the exact regulations that apply to your site), but the first step towards roof safety is keeping the surface clear. Ensure that no loose debris that could roll or accidentally be kicked over the edge is allowed to lie on the surface. Keep walkways clean and open to prevent trip accidents that may result in items being dropped, and make sure your workers understand the dangers to the public.