Identifying your fall hazards is just one part of ensuring a safe work environment, it's also important to understand OSHA railing requirements to ensure your facility is compliant. Designing an OSHA compliant railing system is equally important; post-spacing, material choice, finish, toeboard, and gates are all things to consider when designing your guardrail.
Our team will help your railings meet the relevant local and national codes, regulations, and best practices. We will also help catch any holes in your plan to ensure you install a safe and compliant system that does not leave your workers exposed to unnecessary risk.
OSHA's requirements for guardrail can be found on the OSHA website. Below is a quick reference guide for ensuring your facility is OSHA compliant.You must ensure that:
It is important to note that you should always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
The material must be durable, the top rail and the midrail must be at least 1/4 inch (.6 cm) in diameter. OSHA also requires the surface of the railing itself must be smooth to protect employees from injuries; such as cuts, punctures and to prevent snagging.Railing Must:
It is important that the railing should not only protect the employee from a fall, but it cannot pose any other hazards.
OSHA provides a range for the railings to ensure your system is safe and compliant. Guardrail height must be between 39 inches and 45 inches. The midrails should be placed halfway between the top edge of the railing and the working-walking surface.
Railing must not cause additional hazards; ensure the ends of the top rails and midrails do not hang over the ending or terminal posts if there is a chance someone could walk into it. This could add additional hazards to the working area.
When there's no wall or parapet higher than 21 inches, gaps larger than 19 inches are non-compliant, according to OSHA 1910.29(b)(2).
The section of the OSHA code that specifies most of the primary guardrail requirements and directly relates to safety railing is 1910.29. Specifically, the following sections are the most relevant to railing and guardrail for fall protection.
1910.29(b)(1) - A standard railing shall consist of a top rail, an intermediate rail, and posts, and shall have a vertical height of 42 inches, plus or minus 3 inches, above the working-walking surface.
1910.29(k)(1) - A standard toeboard shall be 3 1/2 inches in vertical height from the top edge to the bottom level of the floor, platform, runway, or ramp. It should be securely fastened in place and with not more than 1/4-inch clearance above floor level.
1910.29(f)(3) - Surfaces. Handrails and stair rail systems are smooth-surfaced to protect employees from injury, such as punctures or lacerations, and to prevent catching or snagging of clothing.
1910.29(b)(9) - Top rails and mid-rails must be at least 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) in diameter or thickness.
Simplified Safety was very knowledgeable in terms of OSHA requirements and provided a product that would satisfy OSHA requirements. The customer service was great.
-Christopher, Timberline Communications Inc.
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