Use caution near roof and floor openings, skylights

September 23, 2013

Falls through skylights and roof and floor openings can cause severe injuries and, in the worst case, death. According to NIOSH, workers should follow these tips to protect themselves:

  • Do not sit on, lean against, or step on a skylight or any covering placed over a hole in a roof or floor. The material may not support your weight, and you could fall.
  • Before leaving a work area, guard or securely cover any hole you created or uncovered. If you do not, other workers may not notice the hole and fall through.
  • Ask your supervisor about the type of safety procedures to follow when covering or guarding a hole.
  • Always use a personal fall arrest system that includes a full-body harness, lanyard, connectors and appropriate anchorage points when working over an unguarded or uncovered opening more than 6 feet above a lower level.
  • If using a personal fall arrest system, inspect it every day and report any damage or deficiencies to your supervisor. Tie off only to anchorage points that your supervisor has marked as safe.
  • If you notice any unguarded skylights or roof or floor openings – or other fall hazards in your workplace – report them to your supervisor immediately.
  • Follow safe work practices provided by your employer.
  • Ask your employer for instructions if you are unclear on how to safely perform your job.