General terms

Fall-through resistant

According to ASR A2.1, roof sections and building components are defined as being fall-through resistant when their load-bearing capacity is sufficient to allow individuals to walk over them without being in danger of crashing through. If a work area or access is not fall-through resistant - or where these are adjacent to areas where there is a danger of falling through - a guard rail or the use of personal fall protection equipment (PPE) is prescribed. ASR A2.1 lists several examples of typical fields of application, resp. building components, that may not be fall-through resistant:

  • Corrugated fibre cement sheeting
  • Corrugated asbestos cement sheeting
  • Corrugated bitumen sheeting
  • Roof skylights (e.g. light panels, strip lighting, domed rooflights)
  • Transparent roof panels (e.g. glass roofs, synthetic roofs)
  • Glazed surfaces (e.g. shed roofs)
  • Solar and photovoltaic elements

Fall arrest provisions

According to ASR A2.1, roof surfaces that are not guaranteed fall-through resistant may only then be accessed, if “the accesses to the place of work have been accordingly secured”. This may be achieved, for example, by a load-bearing catwalk that fulfils the following criteria.

  • At least 50 cm wide
  • Guard rail on both sides or
  • A guard rail on one side combined with a fall protection anchorage device (PPE)

However, the basic rule is that an individual decision must be made onsite based on a respective risk assessment to determine which preventative measures need to be taken in cases where the employees work within 2 metres of a non-fall-through resistant surface, such as a skylight. A typical example of such a situation would be cleaning a domed rooflight. An appropriate solution may be the use of a guard rail, a cover, safety net, PPE equipment or a combination of different measures.