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Roofing Safety Rail Regulations in Victoria Explained

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If you’ve got a roofing project on your hands, then you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right roofing safety rail hire arranged. Working at heights brings with it a certain level of risk, which is why there are regulations surrounding the safety equipment required for such jobs.

The exact legal requirements on roofing safety rails varies slightly between state and territories in Australia. We’ve provided this explanation on the Victorian roof guardrail regulations to help ensure your workers remain safe while completing their roofing projects.

What are Roofing Safety Rails?

Roofing safety rails are what’s referred to as a passive fall prevention method. In essence, they are a metal railing that surrounds the perimeter of your roof work site. They are one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of a fall while your staff are working at an elevated height, in addition to minimising hazards to those below. The ‘passive’ simply refers to safety devices that don’t need to be altered once they’ve been installed on site.

When Do You Need Safety Rails?

Some common fall prevention devices used on worksites include safety rails, scaffolding, perimeter screens and safety mesh. If your staff are working at a height greater than two metres, then fall prevention methods will need to be put in place. The most appropriate fall prevention method for your job will depend on the fall hazards present and the line of work being carried out.

There are some circumstances where roofing safety rails specifically are required, such as:

  • If your employees are working within two metres of a roof’s edge
  • In wet or windy weather conditions
  • When there is risk of tripping due to protrusions or obstructions

Are There Any Specifications on the Type of Guardrails?

Specifics around the type of roofing safety rail you need to hire will depend on various factors surrounding your work conditions. Material and pitch of the roof are two key factors to consider when determining the type of safety rail required. For example, there are different regulations for tile, metal and concrete roofs, in addition to flat versus pitched roofs.

As a general rule, the following requirements must be adhered to when installing roofing safety rails:

  • The safety railing should encompass toeboards or mesh infill. This prevents tools or debris from falling from the roof and risking harm to those working or walking below. The only exception to this is if the slope of the roof is less than 15 degrees and you have set up a ‘no-go’ zone is beneath the roof works area.
  • There must be a third rail where there is no toeboard or mesh in-fill.
  • There must be an additional mid-rail as part of your safety railing set up.
  • There must be no more than 450mm between the railings.
  • The safety rail system must be robust enough to sustain the force of someone falling against it.
  • The top rails must be at a height of 900mm – 1100mm above the work surface.

For roofs with a slope greater than 35 degrees, even safety rails are not considered an appropriate level of protection and the roof is deemed inappropriate to work or stand on.

There are more stringent requirements for safety guard railings on building construction sites or new home construction sites compared to projects on existing roofs.

Before beginning your roof works, check that your set up and fall prevention practices are in line with the relevant Australian Standards and Industry Codes for your circumstances.

How to Arrange OH&S Compliant Roofing Safety Rail Hire

If you’re about to embark on a roofing project such as solar panel installation, second storey renovations or roof cleaning, your first step is to arrange roofing safety rail hire. It’s important to ensure your roof safety rails are installed by experienced professionals. That way, you can receive the peace of mind that your rails are safety compliant, and your workers are receiving the utmost protection.

At Ahoy Hire, we can provide roofing safety rails, including the safe and secure installation and removal of the railing on your property. Our roof safety rail hire for Melbourne ensures your workers can get the job done in a safe a protected environment. We use high quality equipment to guarantee regulatory compliance. Ahoy Hire pride ourselves on providing prompt delivery and set up on your site, at an affordable rate.

Get in touch with the Ahoy Hire team today to discuss safety railing options for your project.

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With over 37 years in the building and construction industry Ahoy Hire are the builder’s choice for construction site hire equipment. Family owned and operated for over 10 years, Ahoy Hire offer prompt, competitive, temporary site solutions for commercial constructions, residential builders, landscapers, event organisers and owner builders.

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