Access walkway system for a challenging roof layout

Location: Coventry, UK
Products: Kee Walk walkway, Kee Line lifeline

There is a large number of AC units on this roof and they all require periodic maintenance. However, the roof also presents a series of fragile areas (such as skylights), a lot of them placed really close to the air conditioning units. Our customer requested a safe solution that would access all sides of the AC modules.

We suggested a bespoke combo that uses our modular walkway system and a fixed cable lifeline. Together with the existing KeeGuard Topfix guardrail, these three elements would ensure a safe and easy-to-use means of access to all maintenance engineers working on our customer’s roof.

Assessing and addressing the fall protection needs

With a roof that presented various obstacles placed very close to one another and access required on all sides of the AC units, this project was complex.

Challenge #1: Awkward placement of skylights

skylight covers on roof

Site layout: Covered skylights placed very close to the AC units

One of the issues that this site presented was the placement of skylights right near the AC units. This meant that our access system had to be designed in such a way that it could be installed over the skylights.

before photo of the site

Before: No safe access was available to the AC units

To suit the layout of the roof, our technical team designed bespoke raised legs that would allow the walkway installation over skylights and the existing metal boards covering them.

custom walkway

Solution: Custom walkway stands that protect the existing structure

This solution ensures that maintenance engineers do not fall through the skylights while also preventing any damage incurring to these fragile areas.

Challenge #2: 360° access to the AC units required

As mentioned before, full access to all sides of the AC units was required. This meant that a walkable surface had to surround these units and grant safe access to engineers at all times. We recommended a combination of Kee Walk and Kee line (our lifeline system).

A system like this allows users to walk on a safe platform (that also does not damage the roof) while being clipped onto a safety lifeline.

Challenge #3: Tricky roof access for material unloading

Angled roofs are always a bit trickier compared to flat surfaces, as they always pose the risk of materials or users sliding down, especially before or during the installation of a safety system.

For this project, our team had to ensure that the materials would be safely loaded onto the roof and did not pose a risk of sliding down while the installation took place.

There were also no stairs, hatches or ladders to ensure safe direct access to the roof.

sloped metal roof

After discussing options with our customer, the only solution to bring the materials to the roof was to lift them using a crane.

For efficiency, we made sure to pack the materials for each section separately onto pallets and label them. This way, the unloading of materials was done systematically so that they were not left on the roof for unnecessary periods of time. Each bundle of materials was then secured to the existing guardrail with straps to avoid them falling off the roof by accident. As soon as each section was installed, the empty pallets were then taken off the roof immediately, using the same crane.

AC maintenance on sloped metal roof

Situations like this make customers choose our turn-key service (rather than choosing self-installation). Costs are slightly higher compared to a self-install, however, the value of specialised fitting is undeniable when it comes to the safety of everyone involved.

A roof walkway system that adapts to any roof layout

For those not familiar with Kee Walk, the system is a modular walkway designed to accommodate any roof layouts, inclines and obstructions. It does not damage the roof when installed and ensures a non-slip surface for users.

drawing of Kee Walk system

Although this was not the case for this project, Kee Walk can also be installed with side handrails (either on one side or both) for a collective fall protection solution, eliminating the need for a lifeline.

Read more about Kee Walk modular walkway

If you are looking for a full fall protection system to suit a non-standard site, then get in touch with our team to discuss your project. We will organise a site visit and, together, we will find the perfect solution for your fall protection needs.

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