September 10, 2020

Skylight Safety FAQs – Part Two

The Skylight Defender safety screen is a must-have to ensure rooftop safety. We have put together a series of the most relevant and frequently asked questions about the Skylight Defender and issues relating to skylight safety. You can also read more about the Skylight Defender here or check out “Part One of our FAQs here.”

Are skylight safety screens permanent?

Most skylight protectors can be installed as either a temporary or permanent solution, usually permanent is the preference. Our popular “Skylight Defender” skylight safety screen installs using a compression system and does not require drilling into the rooftop surface, and can be removed without damaging the skylight or the roof.

What are the pros and cons of skylight safety screens and skylight guardrails?

While installation of both skylight safety screens and guardrails is a fairly easy and straightforward process, skylight guardrails are typically around three to four times the cost of a safety screen.

Will installing a skylight safety screen void my roof warranty?

The Skylight Defender safety screen will not void your roof warranty. It is installed using a non-penetrating compression system and fastens directly to the skylight frame.

Is it better to install a safety screen or replace the skylight?

Unless the skylight is damaged and clearly in need of replacement, we recommend installing a skylight safety screen on all skylights, whether newer or older. Replacing a skylight is incredibly expensive, and even safety-rated “load-bearing” skylights often do not meet current safety requirements and would require a screen or skylight guardrail anyways.

What does it cost to install a skylight?

The cost of replacing a skylight depends on several factors, including the roof slope, ease of access and the type of skylight being installed. This can drive expenses up to as high as $1500 or more per skylight. Where possible, the preferable option is to install proper safety measures such as a screen rather than replace the skylight entirely.

What are the general industry requirements for skylights?

OSHA regulations state four types of fall protection for skylight safety: skylight safety screens or covers, guardrail systems, travel restraint systems, and personal fall arrest systems.

Do skylight safety screens block out light?

Safety screens like the Skylight Defender are designed to provide adequate protection for the skylight opening while still allowing light through. The screens are often completely indistinguishable from below on more opaque skylight windows. They may cast some shadows on a building’s interior, but the effect is minimal compared to the degree of safety they provide.

Do people really die from falling through a skylight?

Sadly, yes. Falls through skylights are easily preventable and happen far too often. In many cases of falls through skylights, workers are not wearing personal fall arrest equipment either. An uncovered skylight is a deadly hazard if a worker trips and falls into it. This is why OSHA regulations define every skylight as being a “hole” or “opening” in a rooftop and therefore requires fall protection measures.

Does the Skylight Defender safety screen meet current safety regulations?

Our skylight safety screens exceed the most stringent OSHA regulations and meet and comply with any Canadian standards. CAL-OSHA, and some other regional requirements in Canada, such as Ontario, mean the screens have to handle a far greater than 200-pound loading. In Canada, snow loadings on the screens also have to be taken into consideration. Our engineering team will take everything into consideration when finalizing proposals for customers.

Is the Skylight Defender safety screen expensive?

The Skylight Defender safety screen is the most cost-effective solution when compared to competitors and other safety solutions, including guardrail systems. Pricing varies according to the size of the skylight and the client’s needs.

Will a skylight guard protect my skylight from hail?

In general, most skylight safety screens can also offer protection from large hailstones. While some skylights are storm-rated, this may not provide enough protection in a severe weather event with prolonged impact. Additional protection is recommended.

Are skylight safety screens customizable?

The Skylight Defender safety screen comes in a variety of standard shapes and dimensions, but custom solutions are available.

Do you provide on-site consultations?

We do provide services to determine the best solution for your application. We can visit you on-site, or you can send photos and dimensions. We have all the tools necessary to assist you in getting an accurate quotation.

What are OSHA’s skylight fall protection requirements?

OSHA requires that: “Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.”

Read more here about skylight fall protection and safety requirements.

Talk to us today about providing the best skylight protection for your individual workplace.

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