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Freestanding Roof Guardrail Systems – A Specifiers Guide

Freestanding Roof Guardrail Systems – a Specifiers Guide

Freestanding guardrail systems are a simple cost effective way to ensure that the roofing areas of many buildings are adequately protected for work at height with a collective safety system. The free standing roof guardrail provides a barrier around the roof edge which prevents falls from height as long as it is used in conjunction with the appropriate personal protective equipment. One of the key features of this particular guardrail is due to it’s freestanding nature there is no requirement for it to be mechanically fixed to the roof surface, this makes it very versatile and able to fit on a wide variety of different roofing types.

High Access Solutions Ltd sources their guardrails from a variety of different suppliers subject to the project specifics. The material from which the guardrails are made, is primarily galvanised steel. This particular material helps to ensure that the system once installed required very little maintenance due to the durable nature of the metal it is created from. The counterweight required to hold the free standing guardrail in place upon the roofing area is made from a recycled PVC compound.

Free Standing Roof Guard Rail


The system is simple, utilising the minimum numbers of components to reduce the amount of time taken for installation as well as not requiring any specialist tools to be fitted to a roof surface. All of the components can be altered in order to fit with the building on which the system is being installed but all of the elements below must be included to create a compliant edge protection system.

There are various elements which go together to create the freestanding guardrail, each of them is described in further detail below in order to give a better insight into the working of the product.

MSUP – Main Support Upright:

Free Standing Roof Guardrail

ISUP – Intermediate Support Upright:

Free Standing Roof Guardrail

Other components:

  • CW20 – 20kg Counterweight which is designed to attach to each of the main upright sections of the freestanding roof guardrail system and fixed in place with a small zinc coated grub screw. This ensures that the system is in no way able to be moved while it is in use.
  • CR 2.5 – 2.5m Cross Rail is already supplied in the correct length needed for ease of installation this means there is no need for measurement to create evenly spaced tubes and uprights along the system.
  • SC90 – 90 Degree Swept Bend is included so that the system can be fitted to horizontal and vertical bends without any problems, the bend is affixed using zinc screws  as well as the other elements of the guardrail which are used for ease of installation because of their coating.
  • DE180 – D-End Termination is designed to be fitted to the end of a system in order to provide a neat and convenient way of finishing a run of guardrail, once again this component is able to be used on both horizontal and vertical freestanding guardrail installations.

A Typical Roof Layout:

Freestanding Guardrail System

Above you can easily see how the freestanding roof guardrail can adapt to suit many different roof areas, the different corners that the system can continue in to means that it is a great help when providing edge protection to modern buildings with challenging design features to work with. More counterweights can be added to the various parts of the system where they are required to cater for longer lengths of guardrail or different roofing types. The lack of mechanical fixing required to the roofing could be important to note when assessing work at height requirements for older buildings wherein building guidelines need to be taken into account with regards to alterations on the structure.

Health and Safety Standards

The guardrail complies with the following health and safety standards:

  • HSG-33 Health and Safety in Roof Work
  • HSE INDG 284 ‘Working on Roofs’
  • EN ISO 14122 Part 3
  • EN 13374-2013 Class A
  • BS 6399: Part 2 1995 Wind Code

The above ensures that a freestanding guardrail that would be installed upon a roofing system would be completely in line with the required laws and standards, ensuring that it was safe for use and would protect workers while they were completing jobs at height. More on the above standards can be found on the Health and Safety Executive’s website.

Inspection and Maintenance

Due to the materials that the system is made out of there is virtually no maintenance required, however, if the system does at some point need cleaning it is recommended that harsh chemical cleaners are not used. Instead a mild detergent and water should be used in order to keep the galvanised coating of the metal intact.

While there is very little maintenance needed on the freestanding roof guardrail it is recommended that installed systems receive a test and re-certification of their compliance annually. The inspections may need to be conducted in a more frequent manner if the area in which the system is installed is exposed to a certain set of conditions, such as prolonged chemical exposure, or if the system is used with great frequency. These tests normally involve checking the screws, fixings, level of the top rails and counterweights to ensure all are still in good condition and installed correctly as well as consulting original install drawings to ensure that no modifications have been made to the system or it has not been damaged in any way.

Free Standing Roof Guard Rail


The freestanding roof guardrail is a versatile product which allows for a great deal of customising for it to fit with the building on which it is being installed. It provides a valuable protective service for the workers who would be using the roofing area in preventing a fall from height as well as minimising the risk of such an event occurring in the first place. Due to the material in which it is made being as durable as it is the freestanding roof guardrail is a sound investment that can ensure your building remains compliant with health and safety regulations with only yearly inspections to test the integrity of the system.

High Access Solutions aim is to deliver award-winning project design and development in the work at height safety sector, we offer our clients a full turnkey solution for your project.  Please contact us for all your work at height project requirements.

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