The significance of roof hatch security

Skylights play an essential role in providing workers with safe access to roof areas for renovations and repairs, including servicing HVAC equipment. They offer convenience for maintenance personnel and building personnel. Also known as roof coverings, they are common in non-residential buildings, e.g. B. in commercial or industrial areas.

Despite its convenience, an unattended skylight presents a hazard if left in an open position. This danger is an immediate concern for building owners and managers. It should be treated appropriately to avoid a health and safety authority fine and possible lawsuit in the event of injury or death.

Why is a skylight important?

As already mentioned, roof hatches offer staff and their tools and equipment the opportunity to safely access the roof surfaces. It is an essential feature to allow equipment or machinery to be installed or removed from the building. The location of these hatches is usually above a ladder or stairs that provide access to the roof.

The danger and design of an open skylight

The most common type of skylight used in most buildings is the single-leaf model, which can only be covered and picked up by a single person. In contrast, double-leaf or double-decked skylights are generally larger to accommodate large machines and appliances and play an essential role in removing or installing those machines and appliances.

Because of its design, people sometimes forget to close the hatch, which poses a risk to anyone who is not careful. Personnel working on a roof can trip over the curb of the hatch, lose their footing, or even step back into the area without looking, resulting in crippled or even fatal injuries. All open roof hatches, regardless of the size or number of covers, are at risk of falling.

The security standards

The standard method of protecting people from potential harm is to put a guardrail around the hatch with a standard toe board on all exposed sides (except at the entrance to an opening), as specified in an OSHA standard 26 CFR 1910.23. You can read the entire standard available online at

The importance of the safety of roof hatches - roof hatch

The cheapest way to keep people safe from harm is to insist that workers close the hatch immediately after stepping on the roof and only open it to exit the roof area. However, there is a chance that the person could lock himself out. Many building owners and managers fear that they cannot force all building personnel to comply with this policy.

A self-closing gate railing system is the best and easiest way to ensure continued OSHA compliance. When entering or exiting a hatch, the gate automatically swings shut to form a protective shield around the opening. This function completely deprives the employee of the safety decision.


There is no question that skylights are a requirement for easy access and some level of security for those who work in non-residential buildings. Despite being convenient to use, it carries a level of hazard that could hold facility management and owners liable for injury or death. It is best to follow the rules and regulations established by the government and OSHA to avoid hazards resulting from neglect or oversight.

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