While some skylight manufacturers claim that their skylights are OSHA-compliant and meet weight requirements, do not be fooled. Although they may support the weight of a human when brand new, ALL plastic skylights degrade over time and should be protected by a skylight screen or a fixed standard railing in order to meet OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.30 (a) (4), but even more importantly, to prevent fatal accidents caused by falls through skylights.
All plastic skylights degrade over time. Manufacturers claim that skylights can withstand a 200 to 300 pound load. However, the composition of all plastic skylights will degrade over time from exposure to normal weather conditions and pollution, causing the weight-bearing capabilities to diminish long before your skylight has reached the end of its life cycle. This degradation can be seen in the yellowing and increased cloudiness of your skylight over time.
According to California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA/FACE) Report #09CA003, the label on a skylight involved in a fatal fall stated it was tested in accordance with OSHA fall protection standards. Because of this label, no other fall protection was implemented. However, don’t be misled. While a skylight may meet OSHA standards when new, its weight-bearing capacity will diminish over time and must be protected. Don’t put workers at risk by taking a chance on unprotected skylights that may fail!
OSHA requires that all skylights have additional fall protection. The only way to prevent tragic accidents is with fall protection. You can ensure worker safety and OSHA compliance with FallGuard® Skylight Screens from Plasteco.