HEALTH and SAFETY PROGRAM
and ROOF SAFETY
FOR PWS OPERATED and
Technical Support Services
Asset Management Division
Department of Public Works and Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
FALL PREVENTION AND ROOF SAFETY
1. Introduction 3. Responsibilities
The Public Works and Services (GNWT) Fall PWS Responsibilities:
Prevention and Roof Safety Program helps • Provide a safe working environment for all
prevent falls from elevated work areas. Elevated PWS staff working on roofs and elevated
areas are work sites that are more than 3 metres areas.
(10 feet) off the ground or floor. • Ensure that all staff and contractors working
This program applies to all employees or on roofs and elevated areas know the
contract service providers working for PWS. It procedures for roof safety.
applies to all in-service facilities (buildings). It Worker Responsibilities:
also applies to fuel tanks and delivery trucks.
The program does not apply to projects under • Know the safety procedures for accessing
construction or renovation. and working on roofs and elevated areas.
• Use required safety equipment properly.
• Keep work areas free of snow, ice, and
materials not needed for the immediate work.
2. Definitions This prevents slip, fall, or trip hazards.
• Immediately report or correct faulty
In-service facilities – Buildings that are being
equipment and hazardous conditions.
used. Also includes newly constructed or
renovated buildings, where a certificate of
substantial completion has been issued.
Control zone – The 2-metre border around the 4. General Requirements
edge of a flat roof or platform. The control zone
is bigger than two metres if the surface is All buildings must provide:
slippery. A control zone is also needed around • Safe access to roof areas.
shafts, pits, hatch entries, etc. The use of a • A way to load materials onto roof or elevated
control zone is not permitted as a fall protection area.
system on any sloped roof.
• Permanent access within the safe zone to
Safe zone – An area (inside the control zone) roof-mounted equipment that needs ongoing
where it is safe to work. It must be clearly maintenance – or, permanent fall safety
marked, so all people on the roof can see it. protection equipment.
• A clearly marked safe zone when workers are
Roof Edge present on a flat roof or elevated area.
• Permanent fall safety equipment on all
2m CONTROL ZONE sloped roofs and where the Workers’
Compensation Board (WCB) requires it. This
includes fixed anchor points where needed.
• All permanent roof access must be clear of
Access to Safe Zone obstructions and in good repair.
“Fall Protection is Our Duty”
Guardrails with Access to Safe Zone
Roof Plan – Control and Safe Zones
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FALL PREVENTION AND ROOF SAFETY
5. Safety Procedures
Keep in Touch – When you work alone on a Control Zone – A control zone is required for
roof platform or surface more than 3 metres (10 all work performed on flat roofs and elevated
feet) high, stay in regular contact with other areas. When you are in the safe zone, no other
employees. The best way is for them to be able fall protection is needed.
to see you. A communications (radio) system is
an acceptable alternative. How big is the control zone?
• at least 2 metres (6½ feet) wide, from the edge of
Short-Term Access – If you need to work in the the roof or platform.
control zone or on a slope, even for a short time: • wider than 2 m during bad conditions, such as
• Stay in direct contact with another when the roof surface is slippery.
The control zone must be clearly marked in a
• Use the right fall protection, as required way that can be seen all year. The PWS standard
by the WCB. is a raised warning line – a 6.5 mm (¼ inch)
This includes roof inspections and maintenance yellow polypropylene rope hanging between
of equipment. orange pylons one metre high.
Ladder Safety – If you use a ladder to gain Guardrails – If permanent roof access is not in
access to a roof, keep 3 points of contact at all the safe zone, permanent guardrails must be
times. This means keeping both hands and one installed.
foot, or both feet and one hand, in contact with
the ladder at all times. Working in the Control Zone – When you
work in the control zone of a roof or elevated
Do not hand carry equipment, parts, supplies or surface, always:
tools. Use a rope or hoist to raise or lower
materials. A suitable backpack can be used for • Use toeholds or kick boards in the work area, as
materials up to 6 kilograms. required by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
• Use a lifeline or lanyard and body harness
Portable Ladders – When using a portable attached to a permanent anchor; unless a
single or extension ladder: guardrail is provided at the edge of the control
• Place the ladder so the distance from its base to zone, hatch entries, and entrances to shafts and
the wall (or other support) is about ¼ of the pits.
ladder length from the ground to the support.
• Make sure the bottom of the ladder rests on a Lighting – If there is no permanent lighting,
firm and level base, and the top end rests on a install temporary lights in the work area and
bearing surface that is strong enough to support along the path to the work area, if warranted.
Bad Weather – Do not work on a roof or
• Make sure the ladder is long enough to stick up elevated area during bad weather.
about one metre above the place you are
• Be sure the ladder has a non-slip base or is held,
tied or secured to prevent slipping.
“Safety is not a matter of
• Do not work from the top 2 rungs of a ladder or being able to afford it or not afford it,
the top 2 steps of a stepladder. it is a moral issue.”
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FALL PREVENTION AND ROOF SAFETY
6. Remember 7. Standards and References
Remember these important rules: For more detail about standards, read these:
• Keep direct contact with another employee. • Canadian Standards Association
• Work with appropriate fall protection. • NWT Consolidation of General Safety
• Mark the control zone with a temporary raised Regulations
line if there is no permanent guardrail. • NWT Fall Protection Code of Practice
• Use the control-zone procedure only on a flat (currently in draft form)
• Clear the work area and nearby areas of snow
and ice and non-secured materials.
• Clearly mark locations of all roof accessories,
like parapets, hatches, vents, chimneys, and • WCB legislation, NWT Safety Act
skylights. • CAN/CSA-Z259.1-95, Safety Belts and
• CAN/CSA-Z259.2-M1979, Fall-Arresting
Devices, Personnel Lowering Devices, and
• CAN/CSA-Z259.10-M90, Full Body
• CAN/CSA-Z259.11-M92, Shock Absorbers
for Personal Fall Arrest Systems
• Canadian Centre for Occupational Health
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