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Rooftop Access and Fall Protection at Small Apt. Bldg.

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by ETThompson1, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. ETThompson1

    ETThompson1 Supporter

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    I have a small 12-unit apartment building. We have rooftop package mechanical units distributed on 2 different roofs. On the larger one, the units are more than 10'-0" from the edge. But on the small one, they are less than 10'. We had not provided guardrails, but instead had planned anchors for tying off.

    But we'd also planned to get access from a roof amenity deck which is one level down, using temporary ladders. The level down is less than 16'. The code says permanent ladders are needed if you're 16' from grade, but also would only seem to apply if the ladder you're climbing is from grade. Permanent ladders here would be pretty nasty, we'd need two on the only walls of our tiny roof deck. But to put roof access hatches would mean they'd be in people's apartments, which is not ideal either. Are we required to have permanent ladders?

    So then the second question is, permanent or no, can we use the tie-offs to satisfy the building code requirement? You'd be coming up the ladder, and then tying off to get over the equipment. I don't see anything saying we can't do this...

    Based on IBC and IMC 2015.

    Thanks
     
  2. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    And when it snows? Then what?
     
  3. ETThompson1

    ETThompson1 Supporter

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    Relative to ladders? Or tie-offs?
     
  4. Tim Mailloux

    Tim Mailloux Registered User

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    My gut feeling is that you will need to have a permanent ladder.


    I’m also not a fan of tie offs and neither are most of my clients. Any workers or maintenance staff will need to be trained to properly use them and they will also need to have a harness and lanyard to use the tie off. Lately I have been specifying collapsible guardrail systems like this one. The base it weighted and sits on top of the roof membrane, no penetrations thru the roof.


    https://www.dakotasafety.com/collections/railing-products/products/collapsible-guard-rails?variant=11689755869299
     
  5. georgia plans exam

    georgia plans exam Silver Member

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    Portable ladders not allowed per Section 306.5. Fall arrest / restraint anchors allowed per Section 304.11. No mention of snow...

    GPE
     

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