Technology ID

Adjustable Barricade Safety Rail System and Roof Bracket Assembly to Prevent Worker Falls

Lead Inventor
Cantis, Douglas (CDC)
McKenzie, Eugene (CDC)
Bobick, Thomas (CDC)
Edgell, Herbert (CDC)
Occupational Safety and Health
Consumer Products
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Lead IC
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. In 2016, there were 370 fatal falls out of 991 construction fatalities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data). These deaths are preventable. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling from overhead platforms, elevated work stations, or into holes in the floor and walls. For a roofing job, employers should consider all potential fall hazards, such as holes, skylights, and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable for the proposed work.

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) inventors developed a protective barricade system to prevent workers from accidentally falling through holes in roofs/floors, from the edges of stairwells, balconies, or pitched roofs. The barricade system comprises several barricade brackets that are spaced apart and can be temporarily fastened to the underlying surface. Using the adjustable safety rail and roof bracket assembly creates a protective guardrail system that can be easily installed along roof edges and around openings or skylights on roofs with slopes ranging from 18 degrees (4:12) to 63 degrees (24:12). The durable construction of the assembly provides a secure walking/working surface for workers while working on steep roof surfaces. This design also includes an adjustable plank adapter, which permits the use of wider planks, resulting in an increase of up to 20% in the foot-bearing surface area, thus providing more worker stability.
Commercial Applications
  • May be used widely throughout the residential and commercial construction building industry
  • May be used to safeguard roof workers
  • May be useful to do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvers
Competitive Advantages
  • A portable, easily-installed guardrail system to protect workers from falling into holes of roofs and floors during all construction
  • Easily deployable around skylight fixtures to guard workers from inadvertently stepping onto or sitting down onto the skylight lens and falling through
  • Roof bracket can provide worker support when moving up-slope while installing roofing shingles
  • Safety rail and roof bracket assembly can be used together as edge guarding for both low- and steep-slope roofs to prevent workers from falling or sliding off
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah