NIOSH: Prevent Falls through the Design of Roof Parapets

Published January 8, 2014

A new NIOSH "Workplace Design Solutions" publication suggests that one way to prevent worker falls is to build parapets on roof edges during the construction of buildings. But the decision to add parapets—the parts of wall assembly that extend above the roof—is made during the conceptual design of a building, and architects and design engineers may not always consider fall hazards, according to NIOSH.

As part of the agency's Prevention through Design (PtD) initiative, which addresses hazards to workers during the design stages of a project, the new publication describes the fall hazard and provides a relevant case study to illustrate how parapets could have protected a worker from a fatal fall. In addition, NIOSH lists design solutions to protect workers from falls, relevant OSHA standards, cost savings and advantages of building parapets, and recommendations for designers to prevent falls from roofs during construction.

View the publication.