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Public School Creates a Safe Roof Environment Meeting Ontario TSSA Safety Requirements

Huron Centennial Public School

The Avon Maitland District School Board is a full-service, public, English school district in southwestern Ontario, bordering Lake Huron and covering some of the most productive agricultural lands in Canada. It covers the counties of Huron and Perth, with over 160,000 people calling the Avon Maitland District their home. Huron Centennial Public School is a school in this district located on 30-plus acres of property in rural Ontario.

It is a kind, caring, and compassionate school community with a dedicated, supportive, and professional staff. Their unique natural setting allows students many opportunities to extend their learning outdoors. They have grown to 16 classrooms, including three full-day learning classrooms with teacher/early childhood educator teams.

A Visit From the Ontario TSSA

With the interior of the building undergoing renovations, there was a requirement to update the rooftop units (RTUs). This update to the rooftop units yielded a TSSA gas technician to raise a concern that the units were located on a sloped surface that would make it difficult to ensure a safe working environment. TSSA then notified the consultant that a levelled walkway system to the rooftop units, including handrails and guardrails and steps to traverse the slope, would suffice in creating safe access to the RTUs. This would also create a compliant working environment on the rooftop. It was important that the following was considered and taken action on prior to TSSA’s next visit.

  • A permanent guardrail solution will be designed, built, and installed to meet the requirements of section 14 of Ontario Regulation 851 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • The method of securing the guardrail assembly to the building was outlined.
  • The design details of the guardrail layout were provided.
  • The drawings are also required to show/demonstrate:
    • A plan/view of the roof.
    • The location of the appliances, appliance panels, new guardrails, or barriers on the roof.
    • The distance from any open end of the guardrail to the gas-fired HVAC system will be a minimum of 6 feet from the roof’s edge, and the service clearances will be maintained year-round with safe passage.

With the commercial rooftop having a steep slope with no standing seam, Huron Centennial was looking for a team of height safety experts to review their rooftop and conduct a rooftop safety audit, providing a safety solution that surpasses TSSA’s safety requirements.

Solution: Customized Rooftop Guardrail & Walkway System

After discussing the project with their current safety supplier and the potential solution with TSSA, Huron Centennial started searching for a safety partner that would have the design specifications and safety experience to meet their needs. The facility maintenance team at Huron Centennial selected Skyline Group’s design and modular solution based on the following;

  • Skyline Group’s extensive experience with meeting and surpassing TSSA’s safety requirements.
  • Quick turnaround on providing a solution that includes engineered stamped drawings, to schedule maintenance ASAP with TSSA.
  • Modular solution, making customizing the guardrail and walkway system to meet their needs quickly and easily, with no increased lead times.
  • All products, and any customization, are available locally in Perth Ontario. Ensuring a quick turnaround from order to delivery.
  • While the system’s modular design made this custom solution possible, it also drastically reduced the installation time and labor costs. Reducing the required budget for this project.
  • With the solution being manufactured in lightweight aluminum, transporting the material to the roof was also quick and easy.
  • Finally, our experience and reputation working with various Canadian school boards made us the preferred vendor.

The rooftop safety solution consisted of a walkway with guardrail and platform system starting at the roof hatch, up the slope of the building, down the roof to three RTUs (HVAC systems). This custom solution created a safe year-round path to and from the rooftop units, with the platforms also providing a safe working environment, away from potential fall hazards.