A Roof Guard Rail For Fall Protection Has Specific Requirements

06 / 10 / 2014 | Safety Articles | Ryan Michels

There are very specific rules and regulations set in place by OSHA regarding the use of a roof guard rail. Guard rail systems are of course only one of the many fall protection systems available to employers to keep themselves and their workers safe.

When a roof guard rail is the chosen mode of protection of an employer the rules are very clear. Here are a few of the regulations that the guard rails must meet:

  • Toprails and midrails of guard rail systems must be at least one-quarter inch (0.6 centimeters) nominal diameter or thickness in order to prevent cuts and lacerations.
  • The top edge height of toprails, or (equivalent) guardrails must be 42 inches (1.1 meters) plus or minus 3 inches (8 centimeters), above the walking/working level. When workers are using stilts, the top edge height of the top rail, or equivalent member, must be increased an amount equal to the height of the stilts.
  • Structural members, such as additional midrails and architectural panels, shall be installed so that there are no openings in the guardrail system that are more than 19 inches (48 centimeters).
  • The chosen guardrail system must be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 pounds.
  • Guard rail systems shall be surfaced to protect workers from punctures or lacerations and to prevent clothing from snagging.
  • At holes, guard rail systems must be set up on all unprotected sides or edges. When holes are used for the passage of materials, the hole shall have not more than two sides with removable guard rail sections. When the hole is not in use, it must be covered or provided with guard rails along all unprotected sides or edges.
  • If guard rail systems are used around holes that are used as access points (such as ladderways), gates must be used or the point of access must be offset to prevent accidental walking into the hole.

To read more about these requirements more you can check out OSHA’s site.

W.S. Safety Technologies has the widest range of fall protection equipment for you and your workers and among them is of course roof guard rail protection. We carry many safety rail systems and are available for you to ask questions or seek recommendations for your specific job site.

About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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