Fall Protection Skylights
Fall protection skylights are available for replacements and in many cases retrofitting your existing skylights to bring them up to code.
If you are the owner of a building it is important to know the following information about your skylights, especially if you are looking to repair or replace the skylights. Failure to follow these guidelines could lead to someone’s death or serious injury and subsequent lawsuits.
Skylights that are designed and tested can meet OSHA requirements for fall protection skylights. You do not have to use screens or railings with the proper skylight.
The information below was taken from an OSHA letter:
In 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M (Fall Protection), 1926.501(b)(4) states:
(i) Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guard rail systems erected around such holes. (Emphasis added).
When a cover is used to meet this requirement, it must conform to the criteria in Section 1926.502(i). One of those requirements is in 1926.502(i)(2), which states:
. . . Covers shall be capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.
Under these provisions, employees must be protected with personal fall arrest systems, or covers that meet the criteria in 1926.502(i), or guard rails. However, if the skylight itself meets the cover criteria in 1926.502(i)(2), as a matter of enforcement policy, OSHA will treat the skylight itself as a cover.2