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Access/Guardrails for roof only accessible by maintenance?

Discussion in 'Commercial Building Codes' started by gnarkill283, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. gnarkill283

    gnarkill283 Registered User

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    We have a flat roof that will have solar panels and some openings to mechanical rooms below. Will this roof require guardrails for maintenance personnel or can they use cable lines or some other device to secure themselves? Also we have another roof that is cylindrical, the code mentions that access is required to flat roofs (not sure where atm but a colleague mentioned it did - if someone knows where please share). The roof technically flattens at its apex but is constantly curving otherwise - would it require an access panel and guardrails again? I appreciate any help - thanks
     
  2. RLGA

    RLGA Sawhorse

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    Are the panels within 10 feet of the roof edge? If so, then yes. If you are under the 2018 IBC, then you can provide fall protection connector devices in lieu of guards (Section 1015.6).

    Section 1011.12 (2018 IBC), requires a stairway to the roof. If the roof is not an occupied roof (other than maintenance access), then a roof hatch with a ladder or alternating tread device may be provided. However, if the roof has a slope steeper than 4:12, then no roof access is required.
     
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  3. gnarkill283

    gnarkill283 Registered User

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    Thank you for the response. So the roof is curved and does eventually hit 4:12 on both sides, can it be argued then that it doesn't require a roof hatch? If not then we can provide one but we don't want to have to add guardrails to the entire roof.
     
  4. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    The first roof ... it’s flat all over, right? Is there a parapet at the perimeter?

    The second roof ... the whole thing is a curved dome, like half a soup can laid on its side? Will there be any equipment on the second roof?
     
  5. RLGA

    RLGA Sawhorse

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    For the curved roof, I would say no access is required. You can still provide one if you want access for roof maintenance; however, a guard would not be required, but OSHA would require some means of providing fall protection.

    Just because you provide access to a roof does not require you to provide guards--only if the rooftop equipment is within 10 feet of the roof edge; that is only necessary for the portion of the equipment within 10 feet and not for the entire roof perimeter.

    However, as I mentioned in my earlier post, if the adopted code is the 2018 IBC, then guards are not required if you provide anchors for fall-protection equipment. If you are not under the 2018 IBC, then you can use the 2018 IBC provision as justification for an alternate design or method per Section 104.11 of any previous IBC edition.
     
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