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Do Burglar Bars Meet The Compliance Standards For Skylight Fall Protection?

When considering the safety measures necessary to protect against falls through skylights, you might ponder the effectiveness and compliance of burglar bars. Skylights, while enhancing natural light and aesthetics, pose a significant risk if not properly secured. This article delves into whether burglar bars meet the stringent compliance standards for skylight fall protection and their role in preventing accidents.

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The Basics of Burglar Bars

One of the most common questions we get asked about skylights "Are burglar bars compliant skylight fall protection?" The answer to that question is that the majority of skylights are not designed to bear the weight of an individual leaning or falling. Many people have the misconception that the bars underneath a skylight screen, commonly known as burglar bars offers a level of fall protection. 


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The Shortcomings of Burglar Bars in Fall Protection

If you've never seen them before, go to Walmart or another store with skylights, and look up. What you'll see is that all their skylights have burglar bars. So they are mostly used for theft protection, so nobody pulls a Mission Impossible. If you're a burglar you crack the skylight open your zip line down into the Walmart, you grab a couple of Samsung's to hoist them up, you then disappear into the night. That's what those burglar bars are for, therefore, they're not designed for fall protection, because they're not eliminating the risk of the broken dome. They haven't eliminated the risk of lacerations and biological contaminants to the people below. They're probably not rated for two times intended load, which is what the performance requirement of a skylight screen is according to OSHA. So burglar bars do not meet the compliance for fall protection, in my opinion, and those are the reasons why.

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Safer Alternatives for Skylight Protection

Compliant and effective skylight protection comes in various forms that have been specifically engineered and tested to both protect against falls and prevent unauthorized entry. Grates, screens, and skylight protection systems like cages or safety hatch guarding systems offer not just staunch protection but also a visual indication of the skylight's presence. Kee Cover has been specifically designed to provide an effective solution for covering unprotected roof lights without blocking out the light they let into a building.

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  1. Why aren't burglar bars suitable for skylight fall protection?
    Burglar bars, while great for deterring unauthorized entry, fall short in skylight fall protection due to their design, material, and inability to meet specific safety standards. Their construction doesn't provide the necessary coverage or strength to prevent falls, failing to comply with regulations set by OSHA.

    What are the compliance standards for skylight fall protection?
    Skylight fall protection compliance standards include specific requirements for load capacity, material durability, and the size of openings. OSHA has detailed guidelines to ensure that any protective measures effectively prevent falls through skylights, which burglar bars often do not meet.

    What features should I look for in a compliant skylight protection solution?
    A compliant skylight protection solution should feature high-strength materials capable of withstanding significant force, a design like Kee Cover that covers the entire skylight without large openings, and adherence to national safety standards for fall prevention.

    How often should skylight safety systems be inspected for compliance?
    Skylight safety systems should be inspected at least annually to ensure ongoing compliance with safety standards. However, it's wise to check them after any severe weather events or structural changes to the building that could affect their integrity.

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Addressing Skylight Hazards in the Workplace

Protect your employees and those who work on your roof by ensuring compliance with safety standards by opting to install Kee Cover Skylight Screens. Contact Kee Safety today to explore the best skylight safety solutions tailored to your needs. Ensure compliance with safety standards by scheduling a consultation with our expert team.

About the Author

Dan Huntington

Daniel Huntington is an experienced sales and technical product trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the Fall Protection Industry. As a Fall Protection Industry Expert, he is formally trained in OSHA fall protection standards and risk assessment. He is a respected compliance educator and trainer in rooftop safety, presenting at the 2019 ASSP Expo for the International Society of Fall Protection (ISFP) where he facilitated a course on improving safety for people working at height.

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