Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 11/16/22 (replaces 9/29/20 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 61.37: Access to University Building Roofs

DATE: November 16, 2022

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish standard procedures to control access and maintain security, safety standards, and integrity of all Texas Tech University campus building roofs. Authorized personnel have access to these areas to maintain the roof system and equipment housed there and to meet housekeeping standards outlined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of even-numbered years by the Associate Vice President for Operations and the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction with substantive revisions forwarded to the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.


1.  General

a.    Texas Tech University will comply with the intent of appropriate federal and state legislation, including the national fire protection codes, industrial security regulations, Life Safety Code, and other federal and state laws that relate to the university safety and security programs.

b.    It is the responsibility of all supervisors and administrative heads to implement and comply with the policies and procedures outlined in this OP to control unauthorized access to the highly hazardous and sensitive roof areas of campus buildings. Security and safety must be an integral part of all programs at Texas Tech University.

c.    Unescorted access to roofs will be limited to essential maintenance personnel only. Any exception to this will be requested in writing to the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction.

2.  Responsibilities

a.    Administrators, Deans, and Department Heads

It is the responsibility of all administrative heads to ensure compliance with the following safety procedures:

(1)    Department property will not be stored in roof access areas or on roofs. Any exception to this will be requested in writing to the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction.

(2)    All department personnel should be fully aware that building roofs are highly restricted and will not be used for any purpose other than the intended function of providing weatherproof cover to the structure.

(3)    Any roof access found unsecured or not securable should be reported to Facilities Maintenance & Construction Work Control Center at 742.4OPS (4677).

b.    Physical Plant Maintenance Supervisors

All Physical Plant maintenance supervisors are responsible for instructing personnel under their direction to maintain security and equipment housed on the roofs and comply with safe operating procedures at all times when working on roof systems. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following to ensure that personnel:

(1)    Adhere to the checklist in section 2.d.(4) for access to campus building roof systems;

(2)    Understand the importance of securing roof access areas and complying with roof security procedures at all times;

(3)    Keep roofs clear of discarded parts, trash, etc.; and

(4)    Since roofs might be used as a vantage point for voyeurism, maintenance workers must ensure that their actions are not only proper, but cannot be interpreted as anything but proper.

c.    Faculty, Staff, and Students

University faculty, staff, and students are subject to all campus security and safety regulations. Compliance with the following is vital to the security and safety of campus personnel and facilities:

(1)    Use only authorized storage areas for personal property;

(2)    Do not access any building roof except with authorized personnel or special approval from the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction; and

(3)    Report unsafe conditions, practices, or equipment to the appropriate department supervisor.

d.    Responsibilities for the control of access and general housekeeping of campus building roof systems include:

(1)    Under safety classifications, building roofs are considered hazardous areas with the potential to cause injury and/or illness for persons not properly protected and/or lacking knowledge of safe access procedures.

(2)    Roof access areas will be secured at all times. Security is essential for safety and protection of the roof systems.

(3)    Access to campus building roofs is restricted to authorized personnel only. Authorized personnel are defined as maintenance employees required to perform operational checks and maintenance on the roof systems or equipment housed on the roofs. No other personnel will be permitted onto this area unless access has been approved by the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction and they are accompanied by an authorized employee.

(4)    It is imperative that anyone who gains access to a campus building roof understands the critical and sensitive nature of that roof system. The following checklist will be standard procedure for any access to campus building roofs.

(a)    Stay on walk treads where provided.

(b)    Exercise caution when working with chemicals to prevent spills.

(c)    When walking on the roof, avoid stepping on roof blisters or other deficiencies.

(d)    When working with tools, put down a protective layer of plywood or other material.

(e)    When crossing firewalls, parapets, or expansion joints, exercise caution to prevent “kick holes” in base flashings, movement of metal caps, or tearing of expansion joints.

(f)    Remove all debris, obsolete material, containers, etc., when work is completed.

(g)    When using a wheel cart, ensure that the tires are of sufficient size to prevent overstressing the roof.

(h)    Avoid pushing, pulling, or dragging equipment or tools across the roof.

(i)    If any disturbance to the roof system or adjacent components should occur, notify Facilities Maintenance & Construction Work Control at 742.4OPS (4677) immediately.

(j)    If any portion of the roof or roof detail is to be altered during work, authorization must be obtained from the Senior Managing Director of Facilities Maintenance & Construction to ensure roof warranties are not voided.

(k)    Special safety precautions must be followed for access to any roof with an ATT antenna. All access must be coordinated at least 5 days prior to access to the roof. Call Work Control at 742.4OPS (4677) to coordinate.

Operating Policies & Procedures