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Tips for Preventing Hole and Skylight Falls Part 1

The roofing industry is inherently dangerous. Even if you use the best roof safety equipment, accidents can still occur. However, when proper precautions are not taken, safety is compromised. Unfortunately, that scenario plays out on many construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 40 percent of deaths in the construction industry were fall-related.

One of the biggest hazards is the presence of skylights or holes in roofs. These areas are often left unprotected or not handled properly. If a roofing worker falls through a hole in the roof or a skylight, the chances of injury are high.

In this two-part series, we will provide several tips that can reduce the likelihood of accidents involving skylights and holes from occurring. Along with the use of roof safety systems, roofers should consider the following items:

Covers For Skylights

If there is work being done around a skylight, a cover should be in place to protect you. OSHA standards require that the cover should be “capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied perpendicularly at any one area on the screen.” They should also be of such construction and mounting that under ordinary loads or impacts, they will not “deflect downward sufficiently to break the glass below.”


Guardrails may be used in areas where skylights and holes are located. The guardrail must meet OSHA standards for adequate strength. OSHA also requires that the railing be constructed with top and intermediate rails and posts. The rail should have a vertical height of 42 inches and the top rail should have a smooth surface.


Another option for fall protection is a barricade around the skylight or hole. The materials used to create the barricade should be of adequate strength.

To speak with a roofing lawyer about roof safety, please call us today at (866) 303-5868 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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