Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety

Fall Protection Program



This program is for low-slope roofs not designed for public access. As defined by OSHA, low-sloped roofs are those that have a slope less than or equal to a ratio of 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal). All Work on Low-Slope Roofs Will Follow Subpart D, 29 CFR 1910.28 (b)(13)


The University of Northern Iowa will take a conservative approach to roof fall protection in order to minimize potential exposure to fall hazards and all other serious recognized hazards for personnel who are working on, inspecting, or evaluating roofs.

Work Performed Less Than 6 Ft from the Roof Edge

When work is performed less than 6 feet from the roof edge employees shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system

Work Performed at Least 6 Ft but Less Than 15 Ft From the Roof Edge

When work is performed at least 6 feet but less than 15 feet from the roof edge, employees shall be protected from falling by using a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system or personal fall arrest system. A designated area may be used when performing work that is both infrequent and temporary. A designated area is defined as a distinct portion of a walking-working surface delineated by a warning line in which employees may perform work without additional fall protection. Designated areas can be found on various campus roofs.

Work Performed 15 Ft or More from the Roof Edge

When work is performed 15 feet or more from the roof edge, employees shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system or a designated area. Fall protection is not required for work that is both infrequent and temporary. Employees shall not go within 15 feet of the roof edge without using fall protection. 

Weather Considerations

When adverse weather conditions exist, a risk assessment should be conducted. Adverse weather conditions may include high winds, heavy rain or snow, or when the accumulation of ice or snow on surfaces significantly increase the risk of slips and falls when performing tasks. Where possible the work may be postponed until better conditions prevail or other precautions are taken.

Personal Responsibility

It is the responsibility of every individual working on roofs to ensure that they fully comply with all required safety instructions and have the proper safety equipment. The cooperation of every individual is vital to the success of this safety program. If work cannot be performed safely, the individual shall not proceed until provisions have been made to conduct the work in a safe manner. Each individual should keep in mind these basic duties and responsibilities for safety:

Observe all safety rules.

  1. Work in accordance with established safety procedures.
  2. Report unsafe conditions and practices to your supervisor immediately.
  3. Conduct work activities in a manner that will not endanger yourself or others.
  4. Assist new employees in safely carrying out their job duties.
  5. Report injuries immediately to your supervisor.
  6. Only undertake jobs that you understand.

Training Requirements

All employees who wish to access roofs must complete roof access training which will include roof fall protection. Retraining will be required every year, when new hazards are discovered, changes in the building roof due to construction or remodeling, or changes in the program which affect the procedures required for access. All employees who may work on roofs are required to complete the training annually.

Contact Name: 
David Oesterle
Contact email: