Stanford University

Safe Roof Access

All personnel accessing Stanford University building roofs must follow safe work practices for ensuring life safety and comply with Cal/OSHA regulations [Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Sections 1670 and 3209-3212].

Guidelines for safe roof access

Personnel who access any roofs must be trained on general safe practices that are relevant to their work, including:

Fall prevention

Do not approach within six feet of any:
Roof edge, unless protected by:

Exception: For intermittent work (less than four times a year), a safety belt and lanyard, or an approved fall protection system, may be used in lieu of guardrails. Contact EH&S at x3-0448 for detailed requirements.

Access hatch, unless protected by:

Hinged/removable cover or removable railings

Skylight, unless protected by:

Skylight screens/covers, guardrails, or personal fall protection system

Personnel may only access glazed roof surfaces if an engineer has certified the structure for such anticipated loads, and if it’s protected by personal fall protection. Contact EH&S at x3-0448 for detailed requirements.

Ladder use for roof access

Ladder side rails shall extend at least three feet above the point of support at eave, gutter, or roof line. Personnel shall be trained on safe ladder use.

General roof safety

Before beginning roof work:

  • Obtain local authorization. Contact the applicable Zone Management Office for roof access clearance. (Note that Building and Grounds Maintenance (BGM), Student Housing, and Athletics personnel are to gain authorization from their direct supervisors.)
  • Pay attention to any posted safety signage at roof access point(s).
  • For any roof safety concerns, contact EH&S at x3-0448, or contact Zone Management.
  • If rooftop activities might generate dust or odors in the vicinity of building air intakes, contact EH&S for project review.
  • Avoid or restrict roof access work when wet or windy weather conditions exist after dark, unless adequate illumination is available.
  • Always inspect the site and equipment.
    • Evaluate the structural integrity of the roof surface to safely support heavy equipment and tools. Consult with building managers and/or zone engineers, as needed.
    • Evaluate the condition of all equipment (e.g. protective fall restraint system, personal protective equipment, etc.).
    • Evaluate potential insect or pest problems on the roof (e.g. beehives, wasps, bird droppings, etc.).

During roof work:

  • Ensure safety down below. For work being performed close to the roof’s edge, demarcate and barricade the area(s) below to protect pedestrians from falling debris.
  • Pay extra attention to where you walk. Avoid stepping backwards.

Finishing up:

  • Prior to leaving the roof, clean up and remove all tools, equipment, and materials.
  • Never leave any items on the rooftop that can be blown off by the wind.
  • Lock the roof access door and/or hatch to prevent unauthorized roof access.

For any questions regarding roof safety, contact EH&S at (650) 723-0448.

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