Safety railings are more and more commonly used to secure roof edges of warehouses and industrial buildings. Unlike traditional lifelines systems and EN ISO 795 anchor points, modular safety railings represent a one-time investment that does not require annual inspections or training for roof users. In addition, as a collective protection equipment (CPE), safety on the roof is always ensure regardless of the worker’s approach.
In this post, we will provide you with a detailed analysis of how to secure roof edges with safety railings:
Safety railings as a collective protection equipment (CPE) - Legal basis
As a passive safety system, modular railings allow to secure roof edges without requiring any intervention of roof users. This is a key factor as it exclude employee’s decision to ensure themselves or not. Safety on the roof is thus always guarantee, regardless of the employee’s approach to safety procedures.
European Directive 89/391/EEC, which lays down the principles of preventive action, prioritizes CPE over personal protective equipment (PPE). The regulations clearly state that lifeline safety systems and anchor points EN ISO 795 should only be used when it is not possible to use collective protection equipment, such as safety railings.
VECTACO® safety railings are certified in accordance with the European standard EN ISO 14122-3 date December 2007 regarding safety of machinery – permanent means of access to machinery – part 3: stairs, stepladders and guardrails. According to this European standard, in the absence of a parapet or element on the edge to secure higher than 10 cm, we should install a toeboard.
Advantages of using VECTACO® modular safety railings
- no maintenance cost for the safety system. One time investment. Fall from height hazard elimination once and for all. It allows you to save on expenses related to the operation of the building, which arise from the use of lifeline systems or anchor points EN ISO 795 (PPE).
- the employer is 100% sure that safety on the roof is always guaranteed regardless of the employee’s approach. Collective protective equipment (CPE).
- freedom of movement on the roof without limiting the number of users at once. Companies operating the equipment or performing works on the roof, as well as employees, do not need to have additional qualifications to work at height. Safety railings securing the roof edge are treated as a structural element of the building.
Depending on the fixing, we can find the following types of modular safety railings:
Freestanding safety railings are the perfect solution when you do not want to drill the roof membrane. Rubber pads ensure complete watertightness of the roof. VECTACO® freestanding guardrails are designed to secure roofs with a slope angle up to 15˚. The modular railing system guarantees very quick assembly. Plastic counterweights have ergonomic handles for easy carrying.
If you want to know more about freestanding guardrails, we recommend continue reading here.
Metal roof railings
VECTACO® VBA safety railings are intended for fixing on metal sheet roofs. A specially designed aluminum base is fixed from above to the metal sheet stiffening ribs. DBS2 self-screwing screws made of A2 stainless steel together with sealing pads ensure complete watertightness. Installation from above directly to the metal sheet is very quick. Special device for screwing ensure optimal drilling of the safety railings base to the metal sheet roofing. In this way, we avoid the risk of piercing the metal sheet. VBA safety railings can be used even on roofs with a slope angle of up to 10°.
If you want to know more about metal roof railings, we recommend continue reading here.
Parapet safety railings
VECTACO® VA-VAD modular railings can be fixed directly to the parapet on the outside as well as on the inside. Depending on whether the parapet is insulated or not, we will choose the appropriate fixing element.
The VA model is designed for parapets without flashing and without insulation.
If there is a flashing or a thin insulation layer on the parapet wall, then we use the standard VAD model with a 60mm offset. Depending on the needs, we can even distance the railing upright inside the building up to 116mm.
If there is a thick insulating layer on the parapet wall, then we can use a special support bracket. This piece is tailor made depending on the thickness of the parapet wall insulation layer.
If you want to know more about parapet railings, we recommend continue reading here.
Guardrails under flashing parapet
VECTACO® VZ guardrails are designed for both sides insulated parapets with metal cap flashing. In this VECTACO® model, the fixing of the guardrails is placed in the upper part of the parapet under the metal cap flashing. The Z-shaped support is produced in different lengths depending on the thickness of the parapet wall insulation layer. We can even fix those VZ guardrails on steel parapets by using self-tapping screws. After fixing our Z-shaped guardrails support to the top of the parapet, we can lay down the metal cap flashing.
If you want to know more about guardrails fixed under metal cap flashing, we recommend continue reading here.
Ground based safety railings
VECTACO® VS safety railings are normally fix to the upper base of the parapet wall or to the ground. Watertightness is ensured by a specially designed set of membrane, screws and rubber pads. It is a very cheap solution that allows you to quickly secure the roof edges.
If you want to know more about guardrails fixed to the upper base of the parapet wall or to the ground, we recommend continue reading here.
Green roof railings
VECTACO® VDE modular railings are intended for mounting on insulating layer concrete slabs as well as on so-called “green roofs”. A specially designed set of aluminum support brackets and polyamide pads ensure complete watertightness of the roof. A guardrail fixing patented element even avoids the formation of thermal bridges.
If you want to know more about guardrails for sealed roof slabs, we recommend continue reading here.
Insulated metal roof guardrails
VECTACO® VBE safety railings for insulated sheet metal roofs guarantee perfect watertightness. The BE support bracket is fixed through the waterproofing complex on the metal deck. It is even possible to install a polyamide pad and filled the bracket support with foam. This way we achieve a more efficient thermal insulation of the roof. VECTACO® VBE safety railings can be used even on roofs with a slope angle up to 10°.
If you want to know more about guardrails for insulated metal roofs, we recommend continue reading here.
Folding guardrail system
All our safety railings models VECTACO® can be fitted with a folding system. The folding system allows you to maintain the aesthetics of the building, bending to disappear from external view of the building. It can also be useful in places where it is necessary to fold the railing in order to perform some specific works. Foldable modules up to 12 meters long can be assembled by one person, which ensures quick protection of the roof during working at heights. The locking system with a spring-loaded handle allows the safety railings to be set in 3 different positions.
If you want to know more about our folding guardrail system, we recommend continue reading here.
Skylight fall protection
Securing skylights with VECTACO® safety railings is in most cases the only certified solution in accordance with applicable regulations. EN ISO 1263 European standard (safety nets) requires a safety net surface of at least 35 m2 to be certified. Therefore, the use of safety nets to secure skylights or dome lights is not based on current regulations. Depending on the type of roof membrane and the fixing, we can secure skylights with the appropriate VECTACO® railings model.
If you want to know more about skylight fall protection, we recommend continue reading here.
Safety railings made of aluminum
VECTACO® safety railings are made of aluminum. Guardrails finishes is at an excellent level. Other finishes on request, such as anodized aluminum, thermo-lacquered and matched to any RAL colour.
Thermal varnishing (powder coating) is a process that ensures adequate protection of the aluminum railings coating. This is recommended by the manufacturer when the guardrail is installed in highly corrosive environments, exposed to chemicals, polluted areas or near the sea.
Safety railings do not require annual inspections or training of employees working at heights, as in the case of lifeline safety systems EN ISO 795. That is the reason why, they allow you to save a lot of money during the entire life of the building. In addition, as a collective protection equipment (CPE), safety on the roof is always guaranteed regardless of the worker’s approach. Depending on the roof and fixing, we can choose the right VECTACO® safety railings model.
If you want to keep informed about securing the roof edge with safety railings, read our posts on this topic here.