Making the Rooftop Safe for Every Trade

Making the Rooftop Safe for Every Trade (Ruoff Tower Apartments)

Rooftop Safety Systems — Mid-Atlantic


HDC Mid-Atlantic is committed to providing safe, affordable housing for residents in the regions they serve. They are also committed to ensuring that the workers who keep the buildings in good condition will be safe while working on the properties. The company has been working the past few years to ensure their rooftops would be safe for any trades who need to access equipment located on the roof. When it came time to make sure the rooftop at Ruoff Tower Apartments met OSHA safety requirements, they turned to Houck to help develop the best safety solution for their roof.


Developing a Solid Solution

Project manager Ray Newlin met with the building’s manager to assess the situation and worked closely with the equipment supplier to develop the best solution to meet OSHA requirements for safety. “We decided that a freestanding mechanically assembled safety rail system that goes around the perimeter of the roof would be the best solution for the Ruoff Tower building,” explained Newlin.

Newlin worked closely with the safety rail company to secure the system and arrange for the delivery to the rooftop via a crane. There were a few minor logistical details to take care of for the rooftop loading because the front entrance needed to be blocked off, but Newlin said they only needed an hour to load the safety railing onto the roof.

Installation of the Safety Railing

While the crew was installing the safety rails, they needed to follow strict safety guidelines. “Safety flagging was put up and when the team was working near the edge of the roof, they were able to tie themselves off. Once the railings were installed, that area of the roof was considered safe, and tie off wasn’t required,” said Newlin.

There were some high winds that made the installation challenging at times and the crews needed to be extra careful. While installing in the windy conditions, they noticed a portion of the EPDM roofing membrane was delaminated and starting to flutter in the wind. The Houck team was familiar with the roof, having performed repairs previously, and quickly addressed the delamination before the situation worsened.

The Houck Difference

The value for the customer in this project was twofold. First, the Houck team has a solid understanding of exactly what needs to be done to comply with OSHA requirements. The second was in the company’s willingness to consider different approaches that could stay within the customer’s desired budget.

“We bid this project a year earlier, and since then, there was a material price increase that would have been passed to the customer,” explained Newlin. “We worked with our supplier to value engineer the project to change a little bit of the railing from curved to straight that kept the price point the same for the customer.”

Ruoff Tower Apartments’ has reduced their potential liability by making the rooftop’s safety equipment in compliance with OSHA and creating a safe workspace for whatever trades need to access the roof.

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