Perimeter Warning Line System Requirement Options
by Pat Amicucci, Northern California territory sales manager, Roofmaster Products Company
(Editor’s Note: Pat Amicucci has been with Roofmaster® in his current position for 25 years as the Northern California territory sales manager. He is a certified Leister technician and has extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of the construction industry, specializing in roofing equipment, tools, accessories, sales, and service. He can be reached at email@example.com or (916) 296-6714.)
When it comes to protecting your rooftop work area, there are plenty of options to choose from, whether it’s a permanent or temporary system. They all have their own individually unique designs to accommodate a vast array of equally unique rooftops. However, when it comes to protecting the rooftop work area in the form of a perimeter warning line system, there are three popular types and only two that comply with OSHA ruling 1926.502.
Of the three types, the first is the original design, which is constructed of steel stanchions, heavy steel bases, and 100’ of warning line. The second type is constructed of 39” specially designed high-impact polyethylene uprights and a 30-lb. base made of recycled rubber. The third is your typical 42” traffic delineator, also made of polyethylene and a 12-lb. base.
OSHA requires that the components required to form the system itself meet certain physical requirements and be tested as a system. Physically, the upright stanchions of the system need to withstand a 16-lb. tipping force at 30” above the walking/working surface and that the warning line be rigged and supported in such a way that its lowest point, including sag, is no less than 34” from the walking/working surface and its highest point is no more than 39” from the walking/working surface.
There is a total of 14 sub parts within OSHA ruling 1926.502. It is these three key parts that separate the three types of systems and make it hard for the typical 42” traffic delineator to comply. It’s not just the 42” height that stops it for complying, but also, it’s the overall flimsy structure that does not allow it to maintain the integrity needed to hold or withstand the three key points needed, including maximum and minimum height and the ability to withstand a 16-lb. tipping force at 30” above the walking/working surface.
When it comes to the two that comply with OSHA, the metal stanchions and metal base system is heavy, cumbersome, hard to store, and has an inherent ability to mar and damage the membrane surfaces. The specially designed high-impact polyethylene upright and a 30-lb. base made of recycled rubber are by far lighter, easy to stack and store, and are much easier on the membrane surface. When it comes to cost, the specially designed polyethylene system is considerably less expensive than the metal system and only fractionally more than the traffic delineators.
I hope this gives you enough information to make the right choice for your company and not succumb to overspending for the security of knowing that you’re in compliance or not tripping over dollars to save pennies at the expense of liability integrity.