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Life-saving Railings: An Introduction

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Construction worker deaths amount to 30 per cent of all workplace fatalities in Australia. Despite technological advancements that intend to protect construction workers from tragic falls and fatal collapses, these deaths continue to rise exponentially. What is the reason behind this phenomenon? Negligence on the part of the employer is a part of the problem. But substandard quality of safety equipment and improper installation are the prime culprits in such fatalities. The Workplace Health and Safety department of Queensland has issued guidelines for safe construction processes such as roof guardrail installation and designing failsafe mechanisms. Here are some tips to help an employer find the most suitable roof safety rails for any commercial or residential construction in the country.

Roof access

Most constructors consider roofs to be mere open spaces. But in both commercial and residential buildings, the terrace is utilizable in more than one way. In multistoried condo, air conditioning outlets for the top floors are often on the rooftops. Similarly, solar panels also function most efficiently in open spaces. Several similar amenities require rooftop access to both inhabitants of the building and workers. The higher the building goes, the better railing security it demands to protect maintenance workers and technicians. Therefore, construction managers and renovators need to pay optimum attention to choosing the perfect railing.

Roof safety systems

There are several types of roof rails that one can use. But all kinds of guardrails, regardless of whether they are for commercial or residential purposes, need to pass standardized quality tests. Australian laws dictate that during the stage of construction, rails need to be present if there is a chance of a worker falling over three metres. While this is the rule for housing construction, other constructions need to put railings in place if the height is over two metres. The third rule states that during the construction of a roof or a partly furnished roof with a slope that does not exceed 26 degrees, rails are a must.

Which is the perfect roof railing?

Selecting the ideal railing system for a construction site or a renovation spot is a baffling task for the most seasoned construction managers. The dynamic nature of construction sites and other factors such as height, sunshine, nature of the soil, and the materials used radically affect the decision-making process. For instance, long-term construction sites use penetrative safety railings. Constructors attach them to the falling edge with cement. These can be temporary or permanent support railings. The decision also depends upon the weather conditions prevailing in the area. In windy conditions or areas receiving immense rainfall, workers are prone to lose sight of edges and corners around them. Without a safety mechanism in place, this becomes a threat to their lives. It is also an undesirable liability for the employer. Therefore, the employer needs to install appropriate safety railings before dispatching workers to high-rise roofs and skyscrapers.

Does the material matter?

The metal of the railing often does not take a prime position in construction designs. But it is an essential point of discussion. A security rail is as strong as the metal that composes it. Most constructors prefer aluminium due to its flexibility. Since it is durable and light in weight, it does not require much maintenance. It is also recyclable and readily renders itself to alterations, making it a default choice.

The king of safety equipment

The indispensability of roof guardrail makes it an essential part of any construction. Even though constructors encourage and promote personal safety equipment, safety rails are the strongest shield available and are irreplaceable. The worker’s safety is the obligation of any employer, and guardrails ensure they receive maximum protection.

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