Roof Access For Maintenance: What You Need To Know

Unless you are in the enviable position of being a facilities manager for a municipal government facility, OSHA always looms large. When determining safe and easy rooftop access for roofing maintenance, what do you need to know? 

Two Measures

You know the best way to protect your commercial property is with frequent, careful roof maintenance. You enlist your facilities crew for routine cleaning and post-storm cleanup; you arrange biannual inspections with your commercial roofing partner. Two conditions affect the efficiency of those visits:

  1. Safety — Is your roof access and roof perimeter safe to use? Is fall arrest equipment in place? Is personal protective equipment (PPE) available to everyone, even visitors and third party contractors?
  2. Easy access — Can crews access the roof easily, or is their path blocked by supplies, awkward turns, closeted hatchways, or a series of locked doors? 

With sensible precautions, respect for regulations, and a strictly enforced roof access plan, you can protect your workers and your roof. 


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not, as commonly thought, determined to force businesses to shutter their doors. OSHA can actually save your company money since its regulations reduce your insurance exposure and limit worker lawsuits.  

Roof perimeter safety systems, fall arrest equipment, and PPE are all components of keeping roof workers safe. OSHA readily provides advice and expertise on protecting workers. Unfortunately for some unscrupulous roofing companies, OSHA also cites companies violating worker safety, as has happened repeatedly in Florida

Roof Access

You walk a fine line between allowing everyone onto the roof and properly controlling access. As experts at Facilities Net point out, you need a roof access plan so you can regulate and record who gets up there and what they do. Sign-in sheets, observation records, and follow-up reports can all help prevent casual visitors to the roof. 

Beyond administrative controls, you also need physical controls. Is the physical plant designed to permit quick access by trusted personnel, or is a roof hatchway almost an afterthought? 

Invest in remodeling to correct flaws in the layout:

  • Narrow, constricted hallways 
  • Right-angle corners that prevent easy movement of supplies and hand tools
  • Small hatchways or narrow ladders

Your commercial roofer is ready to help. Turn to PSI Roofing for solutions to your commercial roofing needs. Contact us today and allow us to help you meet all legal requirements for roof safety while also preserving and protecting your roof.