Architects and building designers have the expertise to create functional, safe and aesthetically pleasing buildings and structures. But compliant height safety systems are also integral to the design of the building; however, what’s not known is how familiar architects are with the intricacies of access and fall protection systems.

According to Work Health & Safety laws, designers must ensure "that any structure being designed to be used as a workplace will be without risk to the health and safety of persons". The architect or designer can no longer pass responsibility to the builder by way of generic phrases such as "supply compliant roof safety systems".

Can one take it for granted that architects who are experts in building design will also be proficient in height safety system design and all its requirements?

Workers are often asked to perform work at height on buildings where incorrect roof safety systems have been specified and installed. A total audit on the installed height safety systems could result in their replacement in some cases or require a completely new installation of more suitable and compliant systems. This can be extremely costly and frustrating for builders and building owners who have been guided by the architect’s specifications and have installed what they thought was compliant and appropriate for the end user.

Access and fall protection design is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are several regulatory acts, standards and codes of practice that govern these systems. It is, therefore, imperative that the designer is up to date with all the important requirements pertaining to height safety equipment.

For instance, designs must incorporate systems that are suitable for the job. Specification of incorrect equipment can prove dangerous and may fail to protect the workers sufficiently. Similarly, if the systems are hard to use, workers will not be inclined to utilise them or will use them incorrectly. Complete knowledge of all the systems available and their applications is necessary to ensure a compliant, user-friendly design.

To check if you have the necessary know-how to specify and design height safety systems, take a quick height safety knowledge quiz.

Falls from height continue to remain the second highest cause of workplace fatality and the necessity for designing correct fall protection systems has never been more vital.

Discuss your height safety system design requirements with the Sayfa Group design experts.