The maintenance of the mechanical rooftop units has its risk, which can range from workers falling from a height to electrical hazards. Maintenance and repairs are inevitable. Some units are extremely at height, which makes it hard for the workers to access. So, they set inappropriate platforms like a stool or place a bucket upside down to reach the height of the unit. They may reach a height that can hinder their visibility and control.
Some roof mechanical units are installed near the piping and conduit or dunnage. In such a situation the chances of trips and slips increase because the worker has to walk over and on the dunnage. Companies need to take steps in keeping their workers safe during rooftop mechanical unit repair and maintenance tasks.
Eliminate hazard risks
The best approach is to address safety concerns and eliminate the threat of hazards. If you think about moving the rooftop mechanical unit to ground level or decreasing the structural support or using the short unit, to lessen the height and make it easy for workers to gain access to work then it is not always possible. Removing hazards is a great approach but it will not be possible due to financial barriers or location issues. Therefore the other best solution is engineer safety control.
Conform platforms are the preferred safety option, which allows workers to access higher rooftop mechanical unit sections with ease. Con-form Group is an Australian-based company offering a variety of platform ranges and other products. They have an in-house team of engineers and designers capable to handle mechanical unit mounting projects of every size.
An appropriate platform offers the worker a stable surface and sufficient space to work with tools without any constraints. There is also a guardrail that protects the worker from stepping off.
Things to consider while installing the mechanical access platform
Vertical & horizontal clearance
In general, rooftop mechanical units have sufficient space around and lots of ductwork, dunnage, conduit, or adjacent obstacles. Ensure there is sufficient vertical clearance to install the platform. Get to know the vertical and horizontal space. It will help to plan where to place support legs on the platform.
Height & width for ease of units access doors
The height and width of the platform will also be affected by the rooftop mechanical unit’s access doors. Check of horizontal clearance needed. Space must be sufficient to open the door without any hindrance from the platform guardrail.
Platform support style
The platform supports can be penetrating or non-penetrating. The platform can be mounted to the structure underneath the roof but you will need to dig in and reseal it. It can void the roof warranty or cause potential leak issues down the road.
The non-penetrating roof access platform sits on the surface of the roof. No need to mount it or weld it to any part of the roof. Add weights to help the platform handle high-wind situations. It is a common style chosen.
According to OSHA, the guardrail is essential only if the platform is at a height of 4 feet and more. Check the local codes for your project!