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Home Blog Safety Railing Safely Using Safety Equipment - Lessons from NYC’s Massive Subway Project

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Safely Using Safety Equipment - Lessons from NYC’s Massive Subway Project

Subway Guardrail

New York City is in the middle of a huge underground excavation project that has been going on for years. The pictures from the subterranean world are dramatic and have found their way onto websites and news magazines around the world. As a safety professional, you can't help but notice the massive usage of guardrail in the project. That being said, you probably also can't help but notice how unsafe it is!

The picture above is a great example. The railing system pictured is meant to be used on flat surfaces with specific "returns" that keep the system counterbalanced. Certainly they serve as a "warning" that there is an edge there, but beyond that I'm not sure that they would come close to stopping a fall or meeting the OSHA top rail loading requirements.

This is the kind of "lip service" to safety that can become deadly on a job site. Certainly it appears that there is a railing there, but the reality is, it's still probably very unsafe and would not prevent a fall if someone where to back into the system.

Subway Guardrail

Subway Guardrail

Safety equipment that is not used according to manufacture's specifications is no longer safety equipment! Rather it is an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to follow safety equipment instructions or else you may be creating a deceptive hazard instead of providing safety for the worker.

Safety Railing Solutions for Diverse Environments

Safety Railing Solutions for Diverse Environments

Below is a comprehensive list of safety railing solutions that are available to our customers. Not every safety railing solution is a fit for every environment, so we've called attention to where each railing works best. All of these safety railing solutions are OSHA compliant unless otherwise noted.

  • KeeGuard Rooftop Railing

    KeeGuard Rooftop Railing

    Environments: Flat Roofs or Low Slope Roofs

    KeeGuard is a non-penetrating guardrail that uses counterbalanced or post weights to keep the railing firmly anchored on the roof.

  • KeeGuard Metal Roof Railing

    KeeGuard Metal Roof Railing

    Environments: Standing Seam or Corrugated Metal Roofs

    KeeGuard metal roof can be attached to standing seam roofs with non-penetrating S-5! clamps. The railing attaches to corrugated metal roofs with a special plate that must be screwed into the roof surface.

  • Portable Guardrail

    Portable Guardrail

    Environments: Flat Roofs and Job Sites with Flat Surfaces

    Portable guardrail can be used as a permanent solution or a temporary guardrail that can be moved from location to location. Portable guardrail has 5'-10' sections of railing that are held up by weighted bases.

  • Parapet Guardrail

    Permanent Parapet Railing

    Environments: Roofs with Structural Parapets

    This railing can be attached to existing roof parapets to provide a guardrail that meets OSHA requirements.

  • KeeGuard Rooftop Railing

    Ground Mounted Safety Railing

    Environments: Flat and Sloped Surface (ground or wall) that can receive a fastener.

    This is a very flexible option when it comes to creating guardrail and safety railing. It can attach to virtually any surface and provides barrier protection that is OSHA compliant.

  • Kitted Safety Railing

    Kitted Safety Railing

    Environments: Flat Surface (ground) that can receive a fastener.

    This railing kit can be purchased in three kits: corner, straight and extension. It is galvanized and then powder coated safety yellow. It comes partially assembled in the box and is very simple to complete the assembly.

  • Construction Safety Railing

    Construction Safety Railing

    Environments: Construction Site

    There are various types of railings that attach to many different kinds of surfaces. Most of the railings in this category are designed to be temporary and meet OSHA standards for guardrail.

  • Construction Safety Railing

    ADA Railing

    Environments: Ramps, Stairs and Flat Areas that Require Handicap Access

    ADA railing can be designed to provide OSHA fall protection, but the default configuration for ADA railing only takes into consideration handicap access laws.

  • Construction Safety Railing

    Roof Hatch Railing

    Environments: Around Roof Hatches

    OSHA compliant railing that attaches to a roof hatch. This railing also provides a grab point for people entering and exiting the hatch.

  • Skylight Railing

    Skylight Railing

    Environments: Around Skylights

    OSHA considers a skylight to be a hole in your roof. Skylights must be protected with the appropriate railing. KeeDome is a non-penetrating railing that hugs the edge of dome skylights.

How High Does a Roof Parapet Need to Be?

Proper Height of a Parapet

In order for a roof parapet to provide adequate fall protection, a roof parapet should be at least 42" in height. Unfortunately, many buildings get close to this height without quite meeting the height required by OSHA to provide fall protection. There are several solutions to help you raise the height of your parapet that are cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Here are several solutions if you find yourself in a situation where your parapet does not meet the fall protection height requirement.

1. Raise the Parapet Height with a Railing

Raise Height of Parapet with Railing

This is the simplest solution. If you can penetrate your roof parapet, there are several roof parapet railing solutions. We offer railings that attach to the top of the parapet or the outside of the building. Find our more about these types of railings on our roof parapet railing page.

2. Install a Non-Penetrating Full-Height Railing

Non-Penetrating Fall Protection Railing

If penetrating the outside of the wall is not an option, a freestanding, non-penetrating railing can be used to keep people back to from the roof edge. Find out more about KeeGuard, our non-penetrating roof railing.

3. Use Temporary Parapet Railing Clamps to Build a Railing

Temporary Parapet Railing

If you only require temporary access to a roof with a lower parapet, then parapet clamps are a cost-effective option. The clamps are designed to clamp onto the roof parapet. The railing is then formed by inserting 2x4s between the clamps to form a safe, temporary barrier. Click here to find out more about temporary parapet railing brackets.

Whatever the situation you find yourself in, reach out to our trained sales staff. They can recommend products and help you understand the benefits of the different parapet railing solutions that are available.

Kee Lite Smooth Aluminum Railing

Kee Lite Smooth

There is a new generation of railing that is emerging from Kee Safety: Kee Lite Smooth Aluminum Railing. As it's name indicates, there is now a way to build smooth aluminum railing with a modular, component based system. Kee Lite Smooth features a railing surface that is smooth to the touch. Such railing is helpful when designing and building ADA railings as well as railing for the wastewater treatment industry. Many of the features that are gained from using a fittings based system apply to the Kee Lite Smooth railing system.

Kee Lite Smooth

Kee Lite Smooth - Ideal for the Wastewater Industry

We have always been able to provide aluminum railing systems, but those railings were standard railings built with slip-on fittings. The wastewater treatment standards call for the use of smooth railing. Kee Lite Smooth fills this niche and offers a modular, smooth aluminum railing that meets water treatment railing standards. Aluminum is corrosion resistant making it an extremely durable railing in the moisture rich environment.

Kee Lite Smooth Installed

Get a Project Quote

If you would like a quote for a Kee Lite Smooth railing system, begin by contacting our sales team. They can work with existing drawings or assist in the design process. Click here to contact us.

Cross posted from Simplified Building

Pallet Gates for Work Platforms [Case Study]

Pallet Gates on Work Platform

Pallet Gates are typically found on mezzanines, but they can be used in other industrial applications. This pallet gate was used on a work platform that was built around an industrial mixing platform. The pallet gate allows for items to be lifted onto the platform (e.g. pallets of materials to be put into the mixer) while at the same time providing safe access to the people working on the platform.

Pallet Gates on Work Platform - Side View

These pallet gates were installed onto an existing work platform with the addition of fall protection railing. OSHA requires that general industry employees working at a height greater than four feet have adequate fall protection. Adding safety railing and pallet gates to these work platforms brought the system into compliance and provided a safer working area for employees.

Pallet Gates on Work Platform - Gate View

Pallet gates are special safety gates that open only from the outside. This allows pallets and other items to be pushed into the working area with a fork lift. The gates do not swing in the outward direction. Pallet gates come in two standard sizes, but custom options are available. To find out more about our pallet and mezzanine gates, please visit this page: Pallet Gates

Roof Railing - OSHA Compliant & Non-Penetrating Guardrail

Putting a railing on a roof comes with a number of distinct issues. KeeGuard roof railing has number of benefits that will help you to address these issues.

Issue 1: Do Not Penetrate the Roof Membrane

Non-Penetrating Roof Railing

A roof has one distinct purpose, to keep the weather out of your building. The last thing you want to do is put a hole in what is supposed to be keeping water, wind, heat and cold on the outside. Roof railing that penetrates the roof will only cause you more headaches in the long run. The solution is KeeGuard roof railing. KeeGuard uses a counter-balanced system to hold the railing in place. The result is that the railing will not penetrate the roof membrane.

Issue 2: Ensure that it is Safe / OSHA Compliant

OSHA Compliant Roof Railing

In order for a roof railing to be effective in preventing a fall, it must be able to resist the loads as laid out in OSHA 1926. OSHA says that the top rail of the railing must be able to resist 200 lbs of point load without deflecting. KeeGuard roof railing exceeds this requirements and has the test documents to prove it. Each roof railing system is designed by a sales engineer to ensure the highest level of safety. Do not entrust your employee safety and business liability to mere claims! Get the testing data.

Issue 3: Navigating Roof Obstacles

Navigate Roof Obstacles

Most roofs were not designed with railing in mind. There are often obstacles on the rooftop that make the installation of railing difficult. KeeGuard uses modular fittings and standard pipe that make it easy to navigate obstacles that are located on the rooftop. Whether it is a ventilation duct that extends over the edge of the roof or a piece of equipment that installed close to the roof edge, KeeGuard roof railing can be used to protect workers who are accessing these areas.

Issue 4: Keep the Architects Happy - Make it Look Good

Good Looking Roof Railing

Architects have an interest in making sure their design is not corrupted by the addition of a railing to the rooftop. Safety and aesthetics do not have to be mutually exclusive. KeeGuard roof railing has a number of features that make it an acceptable, good looking solution. First off, it's galvanized and not painted safety yellow. This means that the railing is less visible and blends in better with its surroundings. The railing can also be powder coated so that it blends in perfectly with the aesthetics of the building. Secondly, the roof railing can be angled away from the roof edge to make it less visible from the ground. The railing remains compliant, but has a smaller "visual footprint" when viewed from the ground. Thirdly, unlike other roof railing systems, KeeGuard has a contiguous railing. There are no breaks in the railing, making it look more pleasing and well integrated into the building environment.

Issue 5: Install Quickly and Safely

Easy and Safe to Install Railing

A roof railing that can be installed safely and efficiently is another must! KeeGuard's modular design makes it assemble rapidly without the use of welding or drilling. An Allen key, torque wrench, pipe vise and pipe cutter are all that is needed to install this roof railing. Special non-penetrating temporary anchor points are also available to make sure that your workers are safe while doing the installation. On top of being installed quickly and safely, Simplified Safety also offers several levels of installation services. We can come on site and help your crew install the system, or offer complete turn-key installation.

Issue 6: Must Resist Corrosion and have Long Lasting Durability

Galvanized Roof Railing

The KeeGuard roof railing system is completely galvanized. Because it is not a welded system, it is more impervious to corrosion than standard welded railing that has been painted. KeeGuard systems are built for long lasting durability. Annual maintenance will ensure that your railing last for many years. It's modular nature also ensure that any damaged parts can be easily replaced.

Whatever the issues are surrounding roof railing, KeeGuard has the solution. The KeeGuard system is the industry leading roof railing solution because it performs well in all circumstances.

Find Out More about KeeGuard Roof Railing »



Safety Railing with Integrated Toeboard

Safety Railing with Toeboard

Toeboard is an important part of the OSHA safety railing regulation. See one of our past blog posts to learn more about when toeboard is required on your railing. This safety railing, installed around an access point at the Ellenville Flood Protection Project, used integrated toeboard fittings to attach the required toeboard to the railing.

Toeboard Attached to Safety Railing

To make it easier to attach toeboard to your railing, our safety railing can use the special fitting pictured above. This fitting base has special slots that allow the toeboard to be attached directly to the railing with bolts and nuts. The advantage of this toeboard attachment method is that it allows little to no gap at the bottom of the toeboard -- an important part of the OSHA regulation. This toeboard base fitting also makes installation a snap. Using an extruded toeboard section, you can slide the toeboard right onto the bolts of the fitting.

Railing with Toeboard

If your safety railing needs toeboard, be sure to get in touch with our Safety Railing support team and they can help provide you with the right solution.

Safety Railing for Sloped Rooftop

Sloped Roof Fall Protection

Unprotected sloped rooftops can allow fall-related worker fatalities to occur on your time clock. As a safety personnel or building maintenance manager, it is your number one priority to protect your employees from bodily harm to the best of your abilities. In fact, the law states that you are required to implement an OSHA-certified safety management program for your employees working at heights. However, many companies refuse to abide by OSHA's guidelines, and the organization lists construction fall protection as the second most frequently cited violation in 2011. Because falls contributed to 34 percent of the total deaths of construction workers in 2010, the absence of a sloped roof railing is something that your company cannot afford to do business without.

Introducing the OSHA Exceeding, Free Standing KeeGuard Safety Rails for Sloped Roof

Railing for Sloped Roof

Unlike other sloped roof guardrails, our KeeGuard safety rails for sloped roofs offers an advanced technological design that does not penetrate the roof's membrane. This patented system features pre-fabricated modular panels that eliminate the need for drilling, welding or threading into the roof. The KeeGuard fall protection system also includes special pads along the bottom of the kickboard fittings that provide an additional layer of protection against roof damaage. Best of all, our KeeGuard system exceeds OSHA standards for roof fall prevention.

KeeGuard Sloped Roof Guardrail Ease of Installation

Sloped Roof Railing

In years past, installing a sloped roof guardrail was a tedious, time-consuming endeavor. However, our KeeGuard roof fall protection system has transformed the process into a simple event that can be performed by two workers without any specialized training. In fact, the workers can install 600 linear feet of the system in one, 8-hour day. The workers simply attach the ready-made pipe railings together with an allen wrench and torque wrench to secure them into place along the edges of the roof. The workers then connect the pipe railings to the rubber-padded bases with the same tools to anchor the system in place for either temporary or permanent use.

Multi-Level Sloped Roof Protection

Multi-Level Sloped Roof Railing

Our KeeGuard sloped roof guardrail system provides multi-level sloped roof protection. Notice how our system easily locks into place over the skylights along the lower level while simultaneously providing the upper deck of the roof with worker fall protection.

The KeeGuard Sloped Roof Railing Protects the Roof's Point of Entry

Sloped Roof Entry Protection

Most worker falls happen at a sloped roof's point of entry. Therefore, our KeeGuard system serves as a visual guide to prepare your workers for safer access on and off of the roof. We also provide optional, self-closing safety gates to ensure that your workers are better protected from falls while working near the roof's entry and exit locations.

KeeGuard Provides All-Encompassing or Pre-Designated Area Sloped Roof Protection

Fall Protection for Sloped Roof

Whether you need all-encompassing or pre-designated sloped roof railings, our roof fall protection system can adapt to fulfill your immediate needs. All of the system's components can be hoisted onto your roof with a crane for installation. Contact us now to learn how easy it is to install a KeeGuard fall protection system to comply with OSHA standards and protect your workers from potentially fatal falls today.

Find out more about KeeGuard Rooftop Railing System


Loading Dock and Warehouse Safety Railing

Loading Dock and Warehouse Safety Railing

Loading Dock Safety Railing

Warehouse and loading dock safety often requires the use of safety railing. Safety railing can be used for a number of different purposes in the loading dock and warehouse context. Safety railing can be used to protect people from walking off the end of the dock where the truck pulls up. Inside the warehouse, safety railing can be used to protect pedestrians and workers from moving warehouse vehicles such as forklifts.

OSHA Compliant Safety Railing for the Warehouse

Warehouse OSHA Safety Railing

Kwik Kit safety railing is an easy to use, modular safety railing system that is OSHA compliant. Kwik Kit safety railing can be installed very quickly. The uprights come preassembled. You simply mount the base flanges to the floor, attach the horizontal railing pipes and your railing is ready for use. Each section is designed with industry standard 1-1/2" pipe, making it exceed the OSHA top rail loading requirements.

High Visibility Loading Dock Safety Railing

Loading Dock Railing

Kwik Kit safety railing is ideal for the loading docks and warehouses because it is powder coated safety yellow for increased visibility. The powder coating covers high quality galvanized pipe, which will offer your railing a long life. Because the railing is modular and attached with set screws, no welding or drilling is necessary! This eliminates corrosion points and makes the railing last much longer than standard welded railing.

Loading Dock Railing that can be Removed

Easy to Remove Safety Railing

One of the advantages of the Kwik Kit safety railing system is that it can be easily removed. Because the fittings are attached with set screws, the railing can be removed when necessary. This is very helpful on loading docks and warehouses where safety railing needs to be temporarily removed for access. The base flanges will stay in place (attached to the surface) and the entire railing section can easily be lifted out for easy access.

Broken Loading Dock Railing can be Easily Replaced.

Easy to Replace Safety Railing

Have you ever seen broken railing around a loading dock? Of course you have! Truck drivers make mistakes and the next thing you know your safety equipment has been completely compromised. Another advantage of the Kwik Kit safety railing system is that it is completely modular. Instead of needing to call in a welder or replace an entire section of railing, with Kwik Kit you only need to replace the broken pipes and fittings. The fittings and pipe separate with the use of an Allen wrench making it much easier to replace damaged railing.

Kwik Kit is Quickly Available

Pedestrian Walkway Railing

Kwik Kit comes in standard 6 foot extensions and 12 foot straight and corner kits. These kits are available immediately. No long lead times for powder coating. Contact us today to learn how Kwik Kit can be used to help you protect your warehouse and loading dock with the appropriate safety railing. If you're ready to purchase, check out our online selection of safety railing.

Custom configurations are available!

Theatrical Stage Railing - Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle Stage Railing

Safety is important for every industry, and theatrical work is no exception. This railing installed at Heidelberg Castle on a stage where actors perform. The safety railing is painted black to help it blend in and be unobtrusive. Despite it's color it still fulfills its primary function of helping prevent falls from the back of the stage.

Heidelberg Castle Stage Railing

This particular railing is made from Kee Klamp railing fittings. This makes the railing modular, so sections can be added and removed as needed. Kee Klamp railing fittings connect with the use of a set screw and have other applications in the theater industry besides safety railing.

Heidelberg Castle Stage Railing

See our safety railing section for more information about railing systems that will help protect workers in every industry.

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