Rental Davit Arms vs Project Davit Arms For Construction Purposes

New construction often requires davit arms for trade contractors to gain access to the exterior of building facades to complete suspended work. Due to liability and warranty constraints, the general contractor may not be in a position to “lend” these arms to trade contractors for their temporary use. In these instances, Pro-Bel offers the following solutions:


Rental Davit Arms is the best solution for facilitating the construction work of various trades. Rental arms used during suspended construction work often experience heavy wear and tear.

The benefits of using Rental Construction Davit Arms are that they are economical, durable and engineer certified (re certified after each project cycle). Cost is dependent upon application, size, rental duration, and other project specific factors.


Project Davit Arms can facilitate light maintenance work such as glazing, caulking, and painting but are not designed for heavy construction. These arms can suffer significant damage if misused; and in such cases, will need to be inspected, tested and repaired at an extra cost. Or, in some instances, the arms could be overloaded and damaged beyond repair.

In the event the general contractor decides to use the Project Davit Arms, these arms will require inspection and re-certification by a Pro-Bel engineer before being placed back into service. Additional charges for inspection and re-certification will apply.



For more information contact:

RICHARD LEBEL, Sr. Project Manager

(800) 461.0575 x5327

Suspended Platform Work on Existing Buildings Require a Special Pre-Use Inspection


This article is to inform building owners and property managers that the Ministry of Labour requires a “Special Pre-Use Inspection” on all anchors or fixed supports before any suspended work is started and used for construction purposes (work such as caulking, painting, window replacement, brickwork, etc.). In other words, all work other than window cleaning.


The specific pre-use engineered inspection includes:


  • Review of the roof anchors and roof plan to ensure it depicts all fixed supports, securement details and conforms to the requirements under section 10 of CSA Standard Z271-10.
  • Review of the roof plan to ensure that the anchors are suitable and adequate for the attachment of suspended work platforms, and lifelines. To ensure that it is signed, stamped and dated by a professional engineer (note: this roof plan is required to be posted at the roof entrance).
  • Ensure all roof anchors and other fixed supports have been inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and meet the requirements of Clause 11 (inspection and testing) of CSA Standard Z271-10.
  • Review system design to ensure all elevations of the building may be suitable for suspended access work and suited to the generic or specific contractor supplied work plan.
  • Report and provide feedback for any deficiencies that may affect the safe performance of the intended suspended work.
  • Provide an engineered approved (stamped) report based on the above.

If you have any questions regarding these Ministry of Labour changes or require additional information, please contact our compliance specialist directly.


Matthew Ernst
Compliance Specialist
(289) 423.4269


Check out our article for Suspended Platform Work on existing buildings requiring a Special Pre-Use Inspection. Pro-Bel_Suspended_Platform_Article


Building owners require a letter of engagement from a with a qualified person or company. This qualified person must have first hand experienced with the roof anchor RDS certification process.  

The engagement letter will allow the qualified person to work on behalf of the building owner in coordination with the employer (window cleaner) to start the certification process under the extra time provision granted by OSHA .   

The appointment of the qualified person is needed to document the timeline and process, in order to allow window cleaning on buildings equipped with uncertified anchors or systems that are not in full compliance.  

The engagement letter will allow building owners to meet OSHA’s “salt test” of taking all appropriate steps and effort necessary to prove proper due diligence to extended the timeline.  

This managed certification program must be made available to the Agency as necessary showing written evidence of the actions and anticipated dates.   

OSHA will only consider this program acceptable when building owners can demonstrate and document anticipated dates of inspection, testing, certification.  

In addition to the engineering engagement letter, the window cleaning company (employer) must take additional steps to ensure all work is performed safely despite full certification and compliance.  

These additional steps will allow the employer to use an approved RDS method for window cleaning under the limited use provision and under the supervision of the qualified person.  

“Building owners and Employers must take alternative protective measures when working with RDS and uncertified anchors. OSHA will expect that all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the health and safety of the workers are protected.”  

Brent LaPorte
US Inspections Department



On January 17, 2017 OSHA published changes to Sub Part D – Walking Working Surfaces which have a significant impact on building owners and employer’s responsibilities.

These changes include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Mandatory roof anchorages for window cleaners
  2. Mandatory fall protection on low sloped roofs – varying distances where fall protection is required depending on frequency and type of work being conducted
  3. Mandatory fall protection on permanent fixed ladders – fall protection or cages now required to be designed into ladder system


For the first time in OSHA’s history, Rope Descent Systems (RDS) are defined in the Regulation along with requirements for building owners to identify, test, certify and maintain suitable and adequate anchorages capable of supporting an ultimate load of 5000 lbs per employee attached. This does have an impact on what type of product you must specify.


OSHA has set varying compliance dates with respect to each amended section. It is important that you understand and integrate these changes into your specifications when designing a building where fall hazards exist.


Pro-Bel will help you understand the code changes and ensure that the specification and drawings you are issuing incorporate these changes to prevent costly change orders and possible litigation between design teams and building owners/developers.


Please contact Pro-Bel 1-800-461-0575 or e-mail to discuss these important changes.



Recent changes to Federal OSHA Walking Working Surfaces (1910.27) has created concern within the property management world with respect to roof anchor certification. Pro-Bel has received a lot of questions this past year from building owners/managers concerned that the roof anchors on their buildings are not certified.


The deadline for anchor certification is November 20, 2017, but there is no need to panic if you are receiving this news for the first time. Simply contact us for an action plan. Our certification specialists will assess and determine compliance with respect to the new certification requirements and the status of your existing roof anchor system. The action plan will provide you with facts and recommendations for compliance with the new OSHA Law.


To help with the assessment we recommend sending the following documents for our engineering team to review:

  1. Roof anchor drawings.
  2. Previous inspection and/or load testing reports.


If you do not have access to these documents please contact us and one of our certification specialists will be able to assist you further.


By having Pro-Bel review your anchor system you can eliminate any questions with respect whether or not your anchor system is ready for use and avoid any delays in having your windows cleaned in the spring.


Please contact us at 1-800-461-0575 or e-mail at to arrange an appointment and review of your anchor system. We have the largest network of qualified technicians across the US who are competent and able to respond in a timely fashion to any requests.


Thank you,


Brent La Porte

US Inspections Manager

Employer Sentenced to 30 Days Jail After Worker Injured

September 15, 2017 12:47 P.M.


BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Ji Nan Li, carrying on business as Yi Yi Construction, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after a worker was seriously injured by a fall.

On December 3, 2015, a worker employed by Ji Nan Li was working on the roof of a construction project located at 7 Burlwood Road in Brampton. The worker was wearing a harness attached to lanyard, which was connected to a lifeline. In order to move to a different area of the roof, the worker detached the lanyard from the lifeline and moved toward a different lifeline at the peak of the roof. The worker slipped before reaching the new lifeline and fell nine metres (29.5 feet) to the ground, suffering serious injuries.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined that the worker was not attached to the travel restraint system at all times as required by section 26.1(2) of the Construction Regulation. This was in violation of section 25 (1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

This was Ji Nan Li’s second offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. On February 10, 2013 a worker employed by Ji Nan Li fell eight metres ( 26 feet) from a roof and suffered fatal injuries. Ji Nan Li was fined $15,000 for this offence on October 10, 2014.

Ji Nan Li pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days jail. The sentence was imposed by Justice of the Peace Jeannie Anand.



Occupational health and safety



Ontario Regulation 213/91

Section 21.6(2)

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Section 25(1)(c)


Join the conversation using #worksafeON and #workfairON


Janet Deline Communications Branch
For media inquiries only:





Hiring a Design and Sales Coordinator!

Division: Ontario

Reports To: Sr. Design Consultant, General Sales Manager

Employment Type: Permanent Full-Time

Location: Head Office, Ajax

Start Date: October 2017

About Us:

Today Pro-Bel is an international company employing more than 200 people. We strive on having the best people that are experienced and specifically trained to provide the leading service in the high-rise window cleaning safety industry.

To date we have completed more than 9,000 projects worldwide. We have strived to push our industry forward by continually designing safer equipment that is easier to use. Our engineering team has developed Pro-Bel into a professional engineering firm. Our ability to create custom products and solutions suited for modern architecture is what has helped to establish Pro-Bel as the industry leader for engineered fall arrest and suspended access systems.

For over the past 35 years Pro-Bel has built relationships with thousands of architects, building owners and property managers World Wide. Pro-Bel is known as the original roof anchor company and over the years has continued to expand their product line and operations worldwide. We now offer a complete line of window washing equipment and fall protection systems that includes but is not limited to Roof Anchors, Davits, Horizontal Lifelines, Electrical and Mechanical Equipment such as Permanent Powered Platforms and Building Maintenance Units.


Assisting and/or coordinating the Sr. Design Consultant who provides preliminary roof anchor layout that are integrated onto rooftops on high rise buildings.



  • Learn to assist with reviewing building design and equipment needs by identifying building structure and complexity.
  • Learn about code and regulatory requirements

Sales Coordination

  • Field incoming emails, faxes and phone call for projects bidding, designs, general questions
  • Set up accounts in Sales Force (CRM system), add contacts, attach all applicable information for sales, set bidding date/time, and keep current.
  • Review specs/drawings, prepare file, request clarification from client, additional drawings if required for sales to review and provide proposal/design and/or budget
  • All communication with the, architect or bidding General Contractor’s
  • Identify new opportunities from internal lead generating system and present them to the Design Consultant
  • Complete all bid documents for new project, rate sheets and Schedule of Values requests
  • When a project is awarded;
  • Send Letter of Intent/Contract etc. to team/administration
  • Complete budget and project profile .
  • Prepare file for Project Manager
  • Send RFI email and obtain CAD files, and anything additional that maybe required to start the project

Follow up

  • Budgets, design overviews and some proposals
  • Track down awarded GC’s for quoted projects
  • Update Sales Force, obtain new information on a continuous basis.

Change orders

  • Prepare all change orders
  • Prepare back up information for change orders. Run budgets, get invoicing etc.
  • Obtain pricing from our manufacturing department for any custom equipment required for our projects.
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills, Knowledge, Qualifications & Experience

  • Completed Architectural Technology or Civil Technology diploma or degree or equivalent
  • 2 years of construction experience is preferred
  • Working knowledge of construction equipment and techniques, drawings and specifications, building materials, and required standards applicable to discipline
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite
  • Proficient using AutoCAD is beneficial
  • Ability to assume responsibility and to interface and communicate effectively with others
  • Effective English oral and written communication skills and ability to represent the company and project team in a professional manner to the Client, Architect, related staff and the community
  • Must be legally eligible to work in Ontario

What Pro-Bel Has to Offer

  • Benefits package
  • Competitive wages
  • Bonus potential
  • A commitment to ongoing development and support with accredited training and education programs
  • Room for growth and advancement
  • Fun and casual environment
  • Office is closed between Christmas and New Years
  • Company social events
  • Excellent location, close to the GO Station and Highway 401
  • Industry leader and continuously expanding


We invite you to join us by forwarding your resume to Ashley (please quote Design and Sales Coordinator – DSCPB-092017 in subject line).

We are committed to an inclusive, barrier-free work environment and recruitment and selection processes accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the recruitment process.

We thank all applicants for considering a career with us; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:

  • Ajax, ON

Required experience:

  • construction: 2 years

Required language:

  • English

Court Reviews New Fall Protection Rule in Challenge

By Bruce Rolfsen

A federal appeals court has been asked to review OSHA’s new fall protection rule for general industry that covers about 112 million workers ( Corp. Cleaning Serv. Inc. v. OSHA, 7th Cir. App., No. 16-4244, 12/27/16 ).

The rule takes effect Jan. 17, though some compliance deadlines are delayed.

Corporate Cleaning Services Inc., a Chicago company specializing in high-rise window washing, is requesting the court review. The petition for review was filed Dec. 27 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

The company supports the majority of the fall protection provisions of OSHA’s new fall protection rule, the firm’s attorney, Nora Flaherty of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella PC, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 30.

Corporate Cleaning is seeking review of a single provision, 29 C.F.R. 1910.27(b)(2)(i), which concerns rope descents at heights over 300 feet. The company is challenging the 300-foot provision because it is based on misinformation received by OSHA several years ago, Flaherty said.

Specifically, Flaherty said, the company believes OSHA shouldn’t have relied on an obsolete 2001 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) voluntary standard, ANSI/IWCA I–14.1–2001 Window Cleaning Safety.

The committee that drafted the rule was made up of members who had a vested interest in the design, manufacture and use of scaffolding or swing stage equipment, Flaherty said.

OSHA was unaware of many of the problems because they didn’t come to light until after OSHA completed its hearing in January 2011, Flaherty said.

The OSHA rule includes a note from the agency that the voluntary standard was withdrawn by ANSI in October 2011. The note also says that OSHA rejected a union’s complaint about the makeup of the ANSI committee because the panel was accredited by ANSI at the time and the 2001 standard was approved by ANSI.

Updates 45-Year-Old Rule

The fall protection rule (81 Fed. Reg. 82,494) updates the 45-year-old walking-working surfaces standards (29 C.F.R. 1910 Subpart D) and the personal protective equipment standards (29 C.F.R. 1910 Subpart I) by taking into account changes to safety practices and gear made since 1971.

The rulemaking began in 1990 during the first Bush administration and went through two hearings and three comment periods before the final rule was issued Nov. 18.

Because the rule (RIN:1218-AB80) will take effect late in the Obama administration and has implementation costs of more than $100 million annually, the rule could face review by the Trump administration and the next Congress under the provisions of the Congressional Review Act.

Ira Levin and Nora Flaherty of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella PC in Chicago represent Corporate Cleaning Services.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl

For More Information

The petition for review is available at

The rule is available at

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduced with permission from Occupational Safety & Health Reporter 47 OSHR 14 (Jan. 5, 2017). Copyright 2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <>


THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health administration 29 CFR, Part 1910 [Docket No. OSHA–2007–0072] RIN 1218-AB80

Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems)

· OSHA has published its revising and updating general industry standards on walking-working surfaces to prevent and reduce workplace falls, as well as other injuries and fatalities associated with window cleaning and suspended stage work.

·      Significant changes are included for building owners/property managers in reference to fall protection. Building owners must identify, inspect, test, certify, and maintain anchorages for both new and existing buildings and re-certify, as necessary (at least every 10 years).

·      The regulation includes new provisions addressing fixed ladders, rope descent systems and fall protection systems; including anchor inspection, certification and responsibilities.

The rule becomes effective on January 17, 2017. Some date requirements in the final rule have compliance dates after the effective date.

In developing this final rule, OSHA determined that identifying, inspecting, testing, certifying, and maintaining anchorages and providing information about the anchorages must be the responsibility of building owners. OSHA stated in their published preamble of the regulations that only when building owners take responsibility for anchorages and provide written information to employers and contractors, can there be adequate assurance that workers will be safe when they use RDS (Rope Descent Systems). Final paragraph (b)(1)(ii) establishes a new provision that requires employers to ensure that no employee uses any anchorage before their employer obtains written information from the building owner.

“In other words, the final rule requires that employers ensure no employee uses an RDS until the employer obtains written information that the building owner has identified, tested, certified, and maintained each anchorage, so it is capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds in any direction for each worker attached. The final rule also requires that the employer keep the written Information from the building owner for the duration of the job. “

The final rule now emphasizes that building owners must provide assurance information to service contractors or employers that anchor systems have been inspected by a ‘‘qualified’’ person who has conducted the inspection and provided certification. The final rule defines “qualified” as: “a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project” (§ 1910.21(b)).

The final rule, similar to the construction scaffold rules, defines “scaffold” as: “a temporary elevated or suspended platform and its supporting structure, including anchorage points, used to support employees, equipment, materials, and other items’’. OSHA is proposing that general industry comply with the construction industry’s scaffold standards in 29 CFR 1926(L). By requiring employers in general industry comply with the construction scaffold standards, consistency will be achieved, as well as a decrease in any confusion that would likely arise if the standards were different between these two industries.

OSHA also acknowledges that its powered platforms standard contains a requirement similar to the final rule (§ 1910.66(c)(4)). Also, the I–14.1–2001 standard requires that employers (i.e.:  window cleaning contractors) and building owners not allow suspended work to occur unless the building owner provides, identifies and certifies anchorages (Section 3.9).

“Under the final rule, employers are not to allow workers to attach to an anchorage and begin work if the employer did not receive written certification that the anchorage is capable of supporting 5,000 pounds. Specifically, final paragraph (b)(1)(ii) prohibits employers, when there are no certified anchorages, from ‘‘making do’’ or attaching RDS to alternative structures, making the assumption that these structures are capable of supporting 5,000 pounds. “

Finally, OSHA believes that the written information on anchorages that building owners must provide to employers will be helpful for employers throughout the job. Employers can use the information to keep workers continuously informed about which anchorages have proper certification. The information will also be helpful if there are work shift-related changes in personnel, if the employer brings new workers to the job, or if there is a change in site supervisors. Therefore, the final rule is requiring employers to retain the written information on anchorages they obtained from building owners for the duration of the job at that building. In final paragraph (b)(1)(iii), OSHA provides employers and building owners with additional time to implement the requirements in final paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii). The final rule gives employers and building owners one year from November 18, 2016 to meet the new requirements in final paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii). This means that building owners must identify, inspect, test, certify, and maintain each anchorage by the compliance date.

The new standard also recognized that it has been 23 years since OSHA’s 1991 Patricia Clarke memorandum allowed the use of RDS, provided they have ‘‘sound anchorages”. However, the agency also addressed other important concerns when developing the final rule; Namely proper rigging including a maximum height for RDS, the use of suction cups as local stabilization and tool lanyards to prevent public injury.

OSHA retained the RDS height limit in the final rule because the I–14.1–2001 national consensus standard included the same limit. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the I–14.1–2001 standard, and industry widely uses it. OSHA believes the national consensus standard reflects industry best practices.

OSHA believes proper rigging of RDS equipment is essential to ensure that the system is safe for workers to use. To ensure proper RDS rigging and safe use, OSHA believes that employers also must take into consideration and emphasize the specific conditions present. For example, OSHA believes that giving particular emphasis to providing tiebacks when using counter weights, cornice hooks, or similar non-permanent anchorages is an essential aspect of proper rigging and necessary to ensure safe work.

To illustrate, when tiebacks and anchorages are not perpendicular to the building face, it may be necessary for worker safety for employers to install opposing tiebacks to support and firmly secure the RDS, have at least a 30-degree sag angle for opposing tiebacks, or ensure that no angle exists on single tiebacks.

Final paragraph (b)(2)(vi), like proposed paragraph (b)(2)(v) and the 1991 RDS memorandum, requires that each worker uses a separate, independent personal fall arrest system, when using an RDS.

Final § 1910.140(b) defines “personal fall arrest system” as: “a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a walking-working surface”.  A personal fall arrest system consists of at least an anchorage, connector, and a body harness, but also may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combination of these devices (§ 1910.140(b)).

The final rule requires that the personal fall arrest system meets the requirements in 29 CFR part 1910, sub-part I, particularly final § 1910.140. This final rule is consistent with other existing OSHA standards (e.g.: § 1910.66(j), Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance, Personal Fall Protection; § 1926.451(g), Scaffolds, Fall Protection), as well as the I–14.1 consensus standard (Section 5.7.6).

“OSHA believes the provision is essential to protect workers from injury or death if a fall occurs. As the 1991 RDS memorandum mentions, requiring workers to use personal fall arrest systems that are completely independent of RDS ensures that any failure of the RDS ( e.g.:  main friction device, seat board, support line, anchorage) does not affect the ability of the fall arrest system to quickly stop the worker from falling to a lower level. “

OSHA believes that suction cups are widely used and accepted by employers and workers who use RDS, (even by those employers who doubt the need for stabilization) because the devices have a track record of being effective and economical. As far back as July 31, 1991, OSHA allowed employers to use suction cups to meet the stabilization requirement in the 1991 RDS memorandum. OSHA notes that a review of the rule-making record failed to show that suction cups cause anything more than a few isolated cases of window breakage.

OSHA believes the performance-based approach in the final rule assures that employers have maximum flexibility in meeting the requirement to secure equipment (e.g.: tools, squeegees, buckets) that workers use. Many different types of tool lanyards and similar methods are currently available to secure equipment. Tool lanyards and other securing equipment are available in many types, lengths, and load capacities. A worker can secure the equipment at various points, including the worker’s wrist, tool belt, harness, and seat board.

According to OSHA, the rule also incorporates advances in technology, industry best practices, and national consensus standards to provide effective and cost-efficient worker protection. Specifically, the rule updates general industry standards addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards (subpart D), and adds a new section specifying requirements for personal fall protection systems (subpart I). “The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, PhD. “OSHA believes advances in technology and greater flexibility will reduce worker deaths and injuries from falls.” The agency estimates this rule will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year. Most provisions of the rule take effect on January 17, 2017.

Other highlights of the rule include:

  • The rule requires employers to protect workers from fall hazards along unprotected sides or edges that are at least 4 feet above a lower level. It also sets requirements for fall protection in specific situations, such as hoist areas, runways, areas above dangerous equipment, wall openings, repair pits, stairways, scaffolds, and slaughtering platforms. It also establishes requirements for the performance, inspection, use, and maintenance of personal fall protection systems.
  • The rule codifies a 1991 OSHA memorandum that permits employers to use Rope Descent Systems (RDS), which consist of a roof anchorage, support rope, descent device, carabiners or shackles, and a chair or seat board. These systems are widely used throughout the country to perform elevated work, such as window washing.
  • The new rule includes requirements to protect workers from falling off fixed and portable ladders, as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms.
  • The rule adds a requirement that employers ensure workers who use personal fall protection and work in other specified high-hazard situations are trained, and retrained as necessary, about fall and equipment hazards, including fall protection systems.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on November 18. On January 17, 2017 (60 days after its publication date), all provisions will take effect, with the following exceptions:

  • Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (6 months);
  • Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (6 months);
  • Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (1 year);
  • Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (2 years);
  • Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (2 years); and
  • Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (20 years).


OSHA’s Final Rule to Update, Align, and Provide Greater roof top safety

Everyone is responsible for preventing falls when working on a roof. The building owner/property manager, the self-employed contractor, any subcontractor and the worker are each responsible for safety considerations.

Health and safety on the roof starts when the decision is made to access the roof or work begins near the roof edge. All aspects of working safely at a height should be considered. The general rule is: A fall protection system is required when there is a fall hazard of more than 10 feet and where the roof parapet edge is less than 42 inches tall. (plus or minus 3 inches)

” Preventing falls from heights is a priority for federal OSHA. Building owners are responsible to actively manage any significant hazard and provide assurances to the employers / contractors working at a height . .”

Doing nothing to address safety is not an option. In order to stay safe when working at a height, you need to ensure effective controls are in place to prevent people being harmed. To select the most effective controls, you must consider the following steps:

Eliminate the chances of a fall by doing as much of the preparation work as possible before work begins. Normally this is done by doing a fall hazard roof assessment. The assessment report will review all aspects of safe access and egress for all work activities that may take place on the roof. The intent is to isolate the worker from the risk of a fall by using roof edge protection guard rails as means of prevention. In some situations a combination of controls will be required to ensure safe work.

“falls from heights starts with a professional fall assessment of your roof top.”

Edge protection should be used as a means of isolating workers from a fall. This includes guard rails, horizontal life lines, localized tieback and lifeline anchors.

Edge protection should be provided on all the exposed edges of a roof, including the perimeter of buildings, skylights or other fragile roof materials and for any openings in the roof. This also applies to openings and edges of floor areas. Where there is the risk of workers falling through openings in a roof, the openings should be identified and guarded.



  • A full hazard assessment of the roof is needed before work starts? Developing a checklist and work plan is good practice.
  • Are workers trained or supervised to work on a roof, near the roof edge or over the edge using suspended equipment safely? Is there safe access to all roof areas including a review of access ladders and catwalks?
  • Have the roof and fall arrest system been inspected, reviewed and tested if needed and has the building owner/ property manager provided assurance that the system is suitable for the intended work to safely access the building edge or facade?
  • Have all the access restrictions been identified and understood by the contractors in order to protected them from falling off roof edges and do they have a rescue plan?
  • Are workers protected from falling through skylights, vulnerable penetrations or other brittle roof conditions and Are people below the work protected from the dangers of falling materials?
  • Are the weather conditions suitable for working on a roof and do roof workers have appropriate footwear to prevent them from slipping?
  • Have lower electrical hazards and vehicle traffic hazards been identified?

Other possible considerations may be to eliminate the hazard of a fall from a roof and work from the ground using extension poles,scaffolding and mobile elevating work platform.

It’s the law – doing nothing is not an option!

Compliance with the legal requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is the responsibility of anyone associated with working at a height in a place of work. The law recognizes that the building owner/property manager has the necessary means to control, eliminate, isolate and minimize fall hazards.

See federal OSHA new fall protection mandate that effects existing buildings with anchors.

For more information call 1-800-461-0575