Building Research Systems, Inc. (BRS) has investigated an affordable alternate for our Superior Seam Technology™ (SST) licensees regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) skylight safety, as brought to our attention during the recently completed MBMA/MBCEA Spring meeting held in Myrtle Beach, SC. The product is called SKY-BRITE GUARD and was developed by F & F Assemblies- Oakhurst, Texas. It is compatible with either the SST TS324 or the Panel Craft 216/218 panel profiles. This skylight fall protection option has been fully tested by third party testing entities with the results meeting the OSHA 29 CFR 1923.23 (e) (8) requirements.
What is the OSHA criteria for roofing skylight fall protection products? The criterion for protecting workers from falls through skylight openings was stated in August 2004 OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23 (e) (8): “Skylight screens shall be of such construction and mounting that they are capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied perpendicularly at any one area on the screen. They shall also be of such construction and mounting that under ordinary loads or impacts, they will not deflect downward sufficiently to break the glass below them. The construction shall be of grillwork with openings not more than 4 inches long or of slat work with openings not more than 2 inches wide with length unrestricted.”
In the past, the primary means of protection for curbed roof skylights have been either guard rails surrounding the units or wire screen cages attached to the frames draped over the skylights themselves. This type of skylight fall protection makes the elevated/curb units even more costly when applied to through fastened or metal standing seam roofing systems. The SKY-BRITE GUARD is a much more affordable version that is well-suited for PBR through fastened panels as well. The developer, Larry Gumpert, stated “This product was created with firefighters in mind since I have relatives that are involved in that business. If the Sky-Brite Guard light transmitting panel system can save one life of a firefighter or a maintenance worker, then it was well worth all the developmental costs and long hours of creating them.”
Several SST licensees have utilized these for their standing seam roofing systems with very satisfactory results along with being more competitive on the projects requiring compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23 (e) (8) skylights fall protection guidelines. The cost of the Sky-Brite Guard Light Transmitting Panels will be much more affordable while providing greater light transmission than the guard rail or screened traditional roof curb skylights many metal roofing suppliers currently utilize.
Click here for testing data and further information about the Sky-Brite Guard.