Skip to content
Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Falling Through the Roof

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Mines
Category: Fall Protection & General Safety

A miner sent us this safety idea after reviewing a Fatalgram where a maintenance worker fell through a roof skylight. He noted "there should have been a guard around the skylight. I know where I work, we have guards around every one of our skylights. I believe they are about 42 inches in height. This keeps a person from walking out onto the skylight or backing onto the skylight. The skylights have a way of getting dirty and then you don't notice them. They can be mounted even on a pitched roof. They can be bolted down to the roof or if the roof isn't strong enough a frame can be built that is strong enough to hold the skylight."

This is good advice. Another idea is to raise the skylight so it is not flush with the roofline. Not everyone who goes into an area will be aware of the hazards. This is especially true if the area is seldom used or if that person has never been on that site.
Falling Through the Roof

If a surface is not specifically engineered and constructed to serve as a walkway, access should be restricted, and warning signs posted. Also, if access is possible, provide proper fall protection for workers that will be exposed to the hazards of elevated work areas.

Issued: 11/21/2003
Tag # AP2003-S091