This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: September 2016
This policy is to establish requirements for the safety of UNC employees and contractors while accessing roofs in various locations around campus. The purpose of the roof access policy is to establish a set of guidelines and requirements that UNC Environment, Health and Safety, supervisors, employees and contractors must uphold.
- Campus roof
- The structure forming the upper covering of a campus building or parking deck
- Chemical fume hood exhaust
- Air expelled from a ventilation device used in laboratories to contain fumes, vapors, mists and particulate matter generated within the device
- Radio frequency
- A frequency or band of frequencies suitable for telecommunications; the frequency range extending from 3 kilohertz to 300 gigahertz.
- Roof access
- Obtaining admittance to a campus roof through a door, hatch or other means
UNC employees and contractors accessing campus roofs must be aware of and comply with this policy.
Reason for Policy
UNC employees and contractors must be aware of potential hazards associated with accessing campus roofs, and this policy has been developed to assist in mitigating those hazards.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Phase I will include buildings with RF antennas located on the roof.
- Phase II will include laboratory buildings with short exhaust stacks.
- Phase III will include the remainder of campus buildings based on potential hazards.
Contractors will be given temporary authorization to access campus roofs for projects requiring roof work through Construction Services and Management. Construction Services and Management will inform contractors of specific potential hazards on the roofs where the work will occur.
Individuals with access privileges must not provide their One Card, ID badge, or electronic key box passcode to anyone under any circumstances. Lost card, badges or keys must be reported immediately to the appropriate authorizing office to prevent any unauthorized use.
Unauthorized access is a violation of this policy and may violate other University policies or civil or criminal laws. Allowing unauthorized persons to access a roof will result in revocation of access privileges and/or disciplinary action.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- What does this job require to complete?
- What type of PPE will be needed?
- Will fall protection be required?
- Is there a partition or guardrail that is 42″ +/- 3? If Yes, fall protection is not required. If No, fall protection is required.
- Is a fall protection system already installed on the rooftop? If Yes, a personal fall arrest system consisting of a harness and lanyard or harness and self-retracting lifeline is required. If No, and it is a sloped roof, roof access is denied. If No, and it is a flat roof, a Controlled Access Zone must be established.
- Unsure about fall protection? Contact EHS personnel.
- Pay attention to any posted safety signage at roof access point(s).
- If rooftop activities might generate dust or odors in the vicinity of building air intakes, contact EHS for project review.
- Assess work conditions– avoid or restrict roof access work when wet or windy weather conditions exist, especially after dark unless adequate illumination is available.
- Inspect site & equipment for:
- Structural integrity of the roof surface to safely support heavy equipment/tools
- Condition of equipment (protective fall restraint system, personal protective equipment, etc.)
- Potential insects/ pest problems on the roof (e.g., beehives, wasps, bird droppings, etc.)
- For any roof safety concerns, contact supervisor or EHS at 919-962-5507.
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 pedestrian from falling debris.
- Pay extra attention to trip and slip hazards (i.e., standing water or equipment).
Completion of roof work:
- General housekeeping– 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.
- Secure the roof access door and/or hatch to prevent unauthorized roof access.
- Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
- Each employee who is constructing a leading edge 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
- 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 guardrail systems erected around these areas.
- Each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system.
- Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toe boards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
- Ladder side rails shall extend at least 3 feet above the point of support at eave, gutter, or roof line.
- Always maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder (ex. Two hands and one foot, two feet and one hand).
- Clean grease, mud or other slippery debris off shoes prior to climbing ladder.
- Always face ladder when climbing up or down.
- Never slide down a ladder.
- Carry tools in pouch around waste and/or use rope to raise or lower large items to or from roof.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing in hot conditions. Choose layers of loose-fitting, insulating and possibly waterproof clothes in cold conditions.
- When working in the heat, stay hydrated by drinking small amounts of cool water frequently. Drink warm, sweetened liquids in the cold.
- Monitor yourself and co-workers for symptoms of weather-related illness. Call 911 immediately if symptoms are observed.
- Review the campus Heat Stress Policy.
When working on roofs with short stacks, individuals should maintain at least a 10 foot radius around the exhaust. If you have to work within 1 0 feet of the exhaust, contact the laboratory to coordinate shut down of the fume hood during the work. Place an out-of-service sign on the fume hood. If the fume hood cannot be shut down, contact EHS (919-962-5507) for assistance in determining the proper procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear during the work.
- required distance from RF transmitting equipment,
- intensity of the RF emissions, and
- duration of exposure.
The program will be in Appendix A of this policy. Employees accessing the roofs must be trained on the Roof Access Policy as well as RF safety requirements. The current RF antenna buildings are listed below:
- Administrative Office Building (AOB – Giles Horney complex)*
- Cardinal Parking Deck
- Carmichael Residence Hall*
- Cobb Parking Deck
- Dean Smith Center
- Ehringhaus Residence Hall
- FedEx Global Education Center*
- Hinton James Residence Hall
- ITS Manning*
- Kenan-Flagler Parking Deck
- Kenan Music Center*
- Kenan Stadium*
- Morehead Planetarium
*locations where occupational limits may be exceeded within the controlled areas
- Overview of potential roof hazards
- General roof safety
- Machine guarding
- Fall protection
- Ladder use
- Environmental conditions
- Chemical fume hood exhaust
- Radio frequency safety
- Roof access authorization requirements
- An incident in the workplace has occurred that is associated with roof access.
- Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete.
- Changes in this policy.
- Inadequacies in an affected employee’s knowledge indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding of this policy.
Related Regulations, Statutes and Related Policies
- Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, General Duty Clause
- Federal Communications Commission 47 CFR 1.1310 Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure Limits Standard
- North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 95, Article 16, Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina
Kim Haley, Certified Industrial Hygienist
Department of Environment, Health and Safety
Appendix A: Radio Frequency Safety
This section will be added in the future and will include:
- Health Hazards of Radio Frequency (RF) Emissions
- Specific Information on Campus RF Transmitting Antennas
- Required distance from RF transmitting equipment
- Intensity of the RF emissions
- Duration of exposure
- Applicable RF Regulations