Temporary vs Permanent Roof Guardrails


The main difference between permanent and temporary guardrails is their intended duration of use, with permanent guardrails being designed for long-term, fixed installations while temporary guardrails offer short-term, flexible solutions for varying site requirements.

Both temporary and permanent rooftop guardrail systems provide excellent protection for workers from the dangers of falling from heights. When deciding which system is best for your site there are a few questions you should ask yourself;

  1. How often are workers accessing your roof?
  2. What kind of work will be carried out on your roof?
  3. Do you have concerns about the look of permanent guardrails on your building

Permanent rooftop guardrails with a scenic backdrop at dusk

Temporary Roof Guardrails

Temporary guardrails are non-permanent fixtures designed to provide edge protection for a limited duration. Often used in construction sites, events, or short-term projects, they offer a quick solution to immediate safety needs. These temporary systems can be purchased or hired and erected as needed.


  • Versatility to adapt to almost any scenario or roof type
  • Portable which allows use on a variety of job sites
  • Typically a lower cost than permanent guardrails
  • Zero ongoing costs once the job is completed

Temporary guardrails provide edge protection for a rooftop


  • High costs if the system is required more than once
  • High visual impact on the building’s facade for the duration of work. May also cause access issues
  • Requires more planning and scheduling for work to be completed
  • Requires consistent monitoring and maintenance while in use
  • Less safe and reduced peace of mind for workers compared to permanent guardrails
  • Subject to availability limitations which can cause delays
  • Requires logistics access to truck the necessary components in and out of the site.

Permanent Guardrails

Permanent roof guardrail systems are securely mounted to the building allowing constant and convenient access with maximum safety. If you have plant & equipment on the roof that requires regular maintenance such as cooling towers or communications equipment, we advise a permanent system to save the hassles of setting up a temporary fall prevention each time a technician comes to the site.


  • Made from robust materials, they’re built to last, ensuring consistent safety.
  • Once installed, they require minimal maintenance.
  • Compatible with other height safety systems such as walkways, ladders & stairways.
  • A passive safety system, requiring no specialised training.
  • Peace of mind that compliance with AS 1657:2018 is assured and workers are safe.
  • Able to be powder coated to minimise visual impact.
  • Provides continuous access minimising any roadblocks to performing important maintenance tasks on rooftop machinery.


  • Higher initial cost compared to temporary systems.
  • Requires annual recertification from an accredited height safety certifier.
  • Permanent visual impact on the building’s facade.

Technical drawing showing compliance specifications for roof guardrails

Permenant gaurdrails provide safe and compliant access to a comerical buildings rooftop

Fold-Down Roof Guardrail Systems

Fold-down roof guardrail systems are permanently mounted roof guardrail system that neatly folds down out of sight when not in use. Fold-down guardrail systems provide the security, reliability and convenience of a permanent system without the impacts on the aesthetics of your building’s facade.


  • Zero visual impact on the building when not in use (folded down)
  • Made from robust materials, they’re built to last, ensuring consistent safety.
  • Peace of mind that compliance is assured and people are safe.
  • Provides continuous access minimising any roadblocks to performing important maintenance tasks on rooftop machinery.


  • The most expensive of all guardrail systems
  • Requires more maintenance than static permanent installations
  • Folding mechanisms add a small amount of complexity to using the system
  • Requires annual recertification from an accredited height safety certifier.
  • Often forgotten about and ignored by contractors to save time

A digital rendering and photo of fold down roof guardrails

Consult with the professionals

Unsure which guardrail system is right for your property or application? Reach out to us and have our expert team advise you on the best system for your specific site and use scenarios.


Why Choose Us?

  • We understand the nuances of guardrail installation in accordance with AS 1657:2018, ensuring accuracy in every detail.
  • We’re trained and experienced in spotting potential hazards that others might overlook.
  • Proper installation of a quality and compliant system will provide long-term safety and compliance with minimal ongoing costs.
  • We stay informed about any changes or updates to the standards to give our clients ongoing confidence in their compliance.
  • We genuinely care for the safety of workers and we’re committed to keeping workers and rooftops safe, always.

Contact the team

An Anchor Safe team member walks along a tooftop walkway with guardrails

About Anchor Safe

Anchor Safe is a proven and respected name in accredited height safety across Australia. Driven by a dedicated team of highly experienced height safety specialists, Anchor Safe is the 1st choice of Councils, Facility Managers, and Retail to ensure they meet safety compliance standards and their rooftops are kept safe.


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