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7 Types of Fall Protection Systems & Equipment for Roofers

Roofers have a pleasant view on the job, even on low-rise structures. They can see their immediate surroundings from above. They can see distances afar from high-rise buildings. No matter how high up the work, however, they can see the many hazards right in front of them that require roof fall protection.

Accidents involving falls from roofs can lead to severe injuries or fatalities, making it imperative to have fall protection systems and equipment—and the proper training—to reduce the risks.

Kee Hatch / Fall Protection / Roofers

1. It Starts with Safe Access

Roof access is a “double-edged sword” because it is dangerous when a worker enters and leaves the roof. Fixed ladders are often used, and they can be made safer with guardrails and a self-closing gate at the roof edge.

Where roof hatches are used, a railing system —also with a self-closing gate—surrounding the hatch will enable safe egress and ingress for roofers.

Kee Line / Lifeline / Fall Protection / Roofers

2. A Day in the Lifeline

Lifelines attach to the roofer’s harness and are secured to anchor points to provide fall protection. Horizontal lifeline systems enable up to three roofers to work at height and overhead. They can be installed along the roof edge so that roofers can move freely and securely.

Kee Post Roof Anchor / Rigid Anchor / Fall Protection / Roofers / Permanent Anchor

3. Anchors Make Fall Arrest Personal

Distinct types of fall arrest anchors are available to use with lifelines, depending on the roof and situation:

  • Rigid posts embedded permanently into the underlying roof structure and placed for workers to reach virtually all areas on the roof.
  • Mobile anchors for roofs with up to a pitch of 5 degrees to cover work when and where needed.
  • Mobile rope access anchor that combines a mobile roof anchor with a track system so roofers can access the façade of a building.
Kee Guard / Roof edge fall protection / Rooftop safety railings

4. Guardrails Mind the Perimeter

Safety guardrails provide a barrier for roof edge protection. They can be permanent or temporary and collectively protect any number of roofers without special equipment or training.

Constructed of galvanized steel or aluminum for strength, durability, and corrosion resistance, perimeter guardrails are installed without welding or drilling and do not penetrate the roof membrane. Considerations include:

Kee Walk / Guardrail / Roof edge fall protection / Rooftop safety railings

5. Like a Walk on the Roof

Roofs can be filled with obstacles, trip hazards, and hard-to-reach areas, but anti-slip roof walkways can enable roofers to overcome such difficulties. Added fall protection can be provided when the walkways are equipped with guardrails.

An ergonomic combination of walkways and guardrails is a rooftop crossover. It overcomes obstacles such as ductwork, piping, and cables and can be used to traverse a change in roof level safely.

Kee Platform / Fall Protection / Roofers

6. Roof Platforms Work

For elevated work areas on rooftops, work platforms use anti-slip treads from walkways and crossovers—plus guardrails—to help keep roofers safe. They can be constructed of lightweight aluminum for rooftop applications.

A static, non-moving work platform is fitted with secure bases. A mobile work platform has heavy-duty locking casters to move among work areas. A customized work platform can be designed for specific workstations or tasks, accommodate services such as electricity and pressurized air, and be configured for adjustable height.

KS KCO 6822 Medium

7. A Highlight on Skylights

Skylights provide natural light on the inside of a building but are a serious risk on the rooftop because they may not support the weight of even one roofer. Effective skylight fall protection can be either a guardrail system surrounding the skylight or skylight screens covering the skylight to prevent the roofer from falling through.

Safety Training Courses

Training Closes the Circle

Equipping roofers with fall protection equipment is critical. Giving them the knowledge and skills of comprehensive training helps complete a full circle of fall protection.

  • Working at Height provides the knowledge and skills to use fall protection equipment safely at heights.
  • Anchor Bolt Installation helps ensure the correct installation, testing, inspections, and retesting of anchor devices.
  • Horizontal Lifeline Installation & Testing combines extensive theory with practice to understand fall protection and the use of power tools to install a permanent horizontal lifeline system.
  • PFPE Competent Inspector Training enables supervisors to identify defects and damage of fall protection equipment and to take corrective action.
  • Rescue After a Fall is critical for working with harnesses and lanyards on rooftops, scaffolds, lifts, and other circumstances.

Looking Safe from Any Viewpoint


Roofing involves working at elevated heights and exposing roofers to many different hazards and risks of falls. Harsh weather and the variety of tools and materials used in roofing projects contribute to the difficulty of the work.

Employing effective and regulatory-compliant fall protection systems and equipment—and backing it up with certified training—will give roofers confidence in their safety as they look about anywhere from the rooftop.

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Kee Safety: Your Fall Protection Experts
Kee Safety is the world’s leading fall protection expert. We engineer, manufacture and install fall protection solutions that safely separate people from hazards. Our OH&S-compliant products and systems are third-party tested and trusted to ensure consistent performance at the highest level.

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