Working on a roof can be dangerous, and safety is paramount. When it comes to getting from A to B on a rooftop, using step-over platforms as part of a roof safety system to traverse obstacles helps to ensure your safety.
In this blog post, we’ll look at why using step-over platforms are important and how they will help protect you from potential trips, falls and injury or other risks while working on the roofs.
What Are Step-over Platforms?
Step-over platforms are critical safety equipment designed to provide secure and convenient access over obstacles on roofs or similar structures and form part of any holistic roof safety system. They are primarily used for safe access across rooftops for maintenance, inspection, and other tasks where workers need to cross over pipework, HVAC systems, parapet walls, or changes in roof levels.
APS Safety Systems are premium providers of Kee Step bespoke step-over platforms, platforms that provide a safe means of access up and over obstacles on rooftops and various other environments such as warehouses, maintenance plants and factories.
These modular safe access step-over platforms create a bridge over obstacles and trip hazards such as piping, industrial machinery and cabling and can be used on a variety range of roof types.
Step-over Platforms – Roof Safety System
While all roofs present potential fall hazards, some particular types require step-over platforms as a crucial safety solution:
1. Flat Roofs: Despite the name, flat roofs often have slight slopes and multiple elevations that may necessitate step-over platforms.
2. Industrial Roofs: These roofs typically house various installations like air conditioning units, vents, or ductwork, creating obstacles that workers need to navigate.
3. Green Roofs: With their landscaping features, green roofs often have uneven surfaces where step-over platforms can assist.
When do I need a Stepover Platform?
Stepover platforms come into play in several scenarios:
1. Crossing Over Pipework: Workers can trip over exposed pipes, leading to serious injuries. Step-over platforms provide a safe walkway over such obstructions.
2. Navigating Parapet Walls: High parapet walls can be challenging to cross without the right height safety equipment. A stepover platform makes this task safer and more manageable.
3. Dealing with Changes in Roof Levels: Stepover platforms ensure smooth and safe transitions between different roof levels.
Setting up a stepover platform involves choosing the correct platform for the specific obstacle, ensuring it is of the correct height and width, and securing straps to it properly to prevent movement during use.
Kee Step Safe Access Equipment
Crafted from durable, very resistant, high-quality materials, Kee Step boasts a robust construction that can withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy usage.
They come in a variety of dimensions, customisable to fit different rooftop obstacles and layouts. One of the standout features of these platforms is their certification – they adhere to stringent safety standards, assuring users of their reliability and effectiveness in preventing accidents.
- Adjustable Design: Kee Step platforms are adjustable in their dimensions, allowing them to accommodate different rooftop obstacles and layouts.
- Durable Materials: They are made from high-quality, robust materials that can withstand heavy usage and harsh weather conditions.
- Safety Certifications: These platforms comply with stringent safety standards, ensuring their reliability and effectiveness in preventing accidents.
- Non-slip Treads: The platforms feature non-slip treads for added safety, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
- Modular Construction: Their modular construction allows for easy assembly and disassembly, making them highly portable and versatile.
- Prevents Falls: Kee Step roof safety systems significantly reduce the risk of falls by providing a stable, secure pathway over potential trip hazards.
- Safe Access: They provide safe access over obstacles on rooftops, such as pipes, ducts, or uneven surfaces, allowing workers to perform their duties worry-free.
- Versatile Application: Kee Step platforms can be used in various settings, including manufacturing plants, energy facilities, and commercial buildings.
- Enhanced Productivity: By creating safer work environments, these platforms contribute to improved efficiency and productivity among workers.
- Cost-Effective: Given their durability and versatility, Kee Step platforms are a cost-effective solution for maintaining workplace safety standards.
Step-overs in action
Are Step-overs Enough?
So, if step-over platforms like Kee Step offer such comprehensive roof safety systems, do they offer enough fall protection?
The short answer is: no.
The long answer is: all roof safety systems require a holistic view of roof safety to ensure the right roof safety solutions exist. As fall protection experts, we recommend installing multiple safety solutions to create collective and personal protection against falls.
When selecting fall protection measures for roof safety, it’s essential to incorporate the Hierarchy of Control approach. This method helps identify and compare the most effective strategies to mitigate fall risks by considering different levels of control measures, from most effective to least.
So, do I need a safety Harness?
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 requires employers to ensure that all work at height is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent persons. This includes selecting appropriate PPE and safety equipment based upon the installed fall protection / roof safety system, conditions and risks at each workplace or worksite.
Safety harnesses, though not always required, and certainly not on a Step-over platform, do offer several benefits and add a personal layer of protection when used with safety lifeline and anchor systems that are complement when used as part of a roof safety system that includes multiple products such as step-over platforms.
Aside from PPE, other roof safety systems may also be incorporated into your roof safety system. Kee Step can be installed with additional handrails, industrial self closing safety gates, and as mini Step-over platforms when working at low level. These extra precautions make your roof safety water tight, reducing risk of falls when working at height.