DGUV Publication 201-054

DGUV Publication 201-054 (formerly BGI 5074) “Roof, carpentry and timber construction work” addresses entrepreneurs and deals with implementing all the different health and safety regulations during roof work. According to this informational publication, such work includes:

  • Work during which roof structures, cladding, panelling and waterproofing, including their respective substructures, are produced, maintained or removed
  • Activities carried out to completely seal up and protect the roof surface, such as the use of greenery or gravel

DGUV Publication 201-054 deals for the most part with the topic of fall arrest. This document describes a whole range of situations and fields of application as well as the prescribed fall arrest solution. Basically, measures to prevent individuals from falling are required as soon as the potential fall distance exceeds one metre, if the roof pitch is at least 22.5°. The publication quotes collective protection measures, fall arrest systems and personal fall protection equipment (PPE) as possible options for providing fall arrest protection.

Exception to the fall arrest regulations

According to DGUV Publication 201-054, it is possible to do without a fall arrest system where the expected fall distance is less than 3 metres, the pitch of the surface to be accessed does not exceed 22.5° and the total roof surface is no greater than 50 m². In this case, the period of time for the respective activities should be kept as short as possible. In addition, the employer must instruct his/her employees accordingly where there are qualified grounds for deviating from the rule. The falling edge must also be clearly marked in such cases.

Use of PPE equipment during roof work

PPE equipment is used for roof work in cases where other protection measures cannot be realised due to reasons of occupational safety or due to the structural design of the building. Such systems are based on the availability of suitable anchorage devices (AD) to which those working high up can reliably attach their protective equipment. According to DGUV Publication 201-054, ADs are regarded as being suitable when:

”[...] the installed arresting system cannot become unattached to the anchorage device and where it has been proven in line with the Federal Technical Building Rules that the load-bearing capacity in the case of one individual is sufficient to distribute a load of 9 kN into the structure during the arresting process, including the load to be calculated for the actual rescue operation (e.g. weight of the person whose fall has been arrested.”

DGUV Publication 201-054 refers to roof safety hooks which have been tested and labelled according to EN 517 as being typical examples of anchorage options on a pitched roof surface. The publication goes on to state literally that: “An example of an anchorage option on a roof surface with a pitch of ≤ 22.5° pitch is an anchorage system that has been installed permanently in line with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.” Typical examples which are frequently met are (single) anchorage points and lifeline systems.

Who can use PPE equipment?

Individual fall arrest measures, such as personal fall protection equipment, may only be used by personnel that has been accordingly instructed. This ensures that the installed fall protection solution can be totally relied upon. DGUV Publication 201-054 specifically states that the usage of PPE equipment requires “special instruction, including having the employees take part in practical exercises on how to use this equipment correctly” as well as on how to “carry out the required rescue measures once a fall has been arrested”.

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