The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for different types of roof slopes. Therefore, any company carrying out roofing activities or related construction work must specifically comply with OSHA building regulations (CFR 29 1926, subpart M-Fall Protection). When working on low-sloped roofs, it's normal to take safety and fall prevention measures less seriously than you would on a worksite with high-slope roofs. Knowing the types of safety equipment needed to work on different sloped roofs is essential to ensure worker safety and reduce hazards and accidents in the workplace. Before organizing safety equipment, setting up personal protective equipment (PPE) and starting the roof construction project, you will need to fully understand the type of roof slope you are working on.
Be sure to check the OSHA regulations and documentation to ensure that you comply with all safety regulations when performing roof work. However, many people in the roofing industry use the term “flat roof” to describe any roof that appears flat, even though it most likely has a slight slope. This is when accidents are most likely to happen, so you'll want to approach a low-sloped roof with the same level of diligence as you would a high-slope roof. Therefore, if the low-sloped roof is to be accessed for some type of maintenance work (not to repair or re-roof the roof) and there is no parapet at least 39 inches high along the edge of the roof, OSHA stipulates what must be done to prevent falls in paragraphs 1910.28 (b) (1 (i) to (iii) (A and B).
Once again, approach a low-sloped roof with the same level of respect and caution as you would with a high-slope roof. Warning line systems are used in combination with another fall protection system, such as railings, nets or PFA, both on high-slope and low-sloped roofs. In architecture, the term “slope” refers to the angle of a roof and is usually measured in inches over a 12-inch stretch. According to OSHA, for every 12 inches of horizontal travel, the elevation must be 4 inches or less for the roof to be classified as a low-sloped roof.