The Different Types of Roof Edge Protection and What They Do

The Importance of Roof Edge Protection

For many construction and building maintenance workers who work at height, roof edge protection is a a necessary part of their work.


As roofs become increasingly complex and varied in design and structure, roof edge protection helps mitigate risks and keep people safe while working on projects at higher elevations. 


With that in mind, it’s imperative to understand the different types of roof edge protection available – what each type offers in terms of advantages and disadvantages, and how to ensure your roof edge protection is adequately maintained and tested to the proper standards.


Under the Safety, Health and Welfare Act at Work Regulation 2007 Part 4: Work at Height, you must regularly test and certify all working at-height equipment. 


In 2019, substantial changes to BS 7883 were made, increasing the certification standard.


If you have yet to have your anchor devices or fall protection systems inspected after this new amendment, your fall protection systems may no longer be compliant. This could leave you open to potential legal issues should a fall occur.

Kee Guard

Roof Edge Protection Products

This blog post will cover the common types of roof edge protection systems which must be regularly maintained and certified and look at how they protect workers from potential falls when working on roofs!

Flat roof edge protection system

Roof Guardrail Systems

Roof guardrail systems, such as Kee Guard, protect workers when working on elevated surfaces. These provide a physical barrier between workers and potential fall hazards, such as edges, skylights, or other openings on a roof.


Roof guardrail systems can be used in conjunction with industrial self closing safety gates such as Kee Safety’s Kee Gate, that help secure ladders and access points to roofs and upper levels of buildings. In addition to providing safety for workers while they work, these systems can also be used to mark off areas that unauthorised personnel should not access.


Another critical factor is whether you want your guardrail system to be fixed or free-standing. Fixed systems are a great permanent solution for metal profile and standing seam roofs  – whilst free standing requires no penetration to the roof membrane and are quicker to install, both freestanding systems provide a critical layer of protection for workers. They can prevent serious injury or death from falls from heights. Our Kee Guard guardrail systems can be fixed or freestanding, to suit any project.

Rooftop Lifeline Systems

Rooftop lifeline systems, such as Kee Line, are another type of roof edge protection system. These systems provide a secure connection point for workers to attach their safety harnesses and lanyards, and can be configured into both Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint systems, allowing workers to work at height without fear of serious injury or death should they slip or fall.


Roof Anchor Systems

Anchor system provides a secure connection point for workers to attach themselves and their safety harnesses to and can also be used in both restraint and arrest configurations.

Roof anchors are available in various materials and configurations, so selecting the right one for your project is vital.

Roof Edge Access Platforms

Roof edge access platforms are specialised systems that provide roof edge protection and an ideal platform for workers to access roof edges or surfaces safely. They are useful in industrial and commercial settings, making roof surface maintenance easy and safe.


These platforms also help protect roofers when working on a roof by providing them with a secure platform to stand on and a secure grip around the roof’s edge.


Furthermore, they help ensure that debris such as dust or gravel doesn’t fall onto pedestrians below. Access platforms offer a safe, practical solution for accessing all types of roofs.


Most roof edge access platforms are time-consuming to build, require additional permits and often require street and pedestrian management. Alternative access platforms, such as the Easi-dec access platforms, are a much more affordable, mobile and rapid solution to the traditional roof edge access platforms on the market today.

Other Factors To Consider

There are a few more things to consider beyond the structure and layout of your roof when deciding on the best fall protection for your workers.

Flat roof edge protection system

Flat Roof Vs Sloped Roof Solutions

For flat roofs, the best fall protection typically involves guardrail systems providing collective fall protection for anybody on the roof.


However, custom-made free-standing guardrail systems can also be installed and used at any low angle and provide ample protection when applied correctly.


Alternatively, roof anchors offer an effective solution for single-pitch or multi-pitch roofs by affixing to various roofing substrates and allowing for suspension lines or other compatible fall prevention elements such as personal fall arrest systems.


To maximise roof safety, it is essential to always use the most appropriate anchorage points for any roof angle.

Testing & Certification

No matter what your safe access solutions are, your equipment must be annually recertified under the Safety, Health and Welfare Act at Work.

APS Safety Systems can provide a full testing and recertification service. All inspections and repairs are carried out by our qualified and competent engineers, who will ensure that the system is re-certified, fit for purpose, fully compliant and safe to use.

Our service includes:

  • Testing and certification of all types of fall arrest systems, including roof cables
  • Inspection and certification of safe access equipment, including step-overs, platforms and walkways
  • Certification of collective protection, such as rooftop guardrail
  • Testing and certification of eyebolts and portable anchors
  • Maintenance and certification of suspended access equipment
  • Maintenance and certification of lifting and handling equipment
  • Pull tests on abseiling tracks
  • Testing of lightning protection equipment
  • BMU electricalvinspection
Height Regulation Recertification Team

So Which Solutions are Best for You?

It is a legal obligation to ensure that your commercial rooftop remains safe and your business conforms when hazardous activities such as remedial and maintenance works are taking place on your roof.


With careful consideration, professional consultation and a good understanding of these various systems, you will be able to make an informed decision when deciding upon your solution.


For friendly, no-obligation advice, speak to our team today.