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Fall Protection in Detroit

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Fall Protection that Goes Above and Beyond
Protecting Your Workers and Your Company

Michigan is one of about 25 states that has their own OSHA-approved plan. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is a state government agency that regulates workplace safety. MiOSHA is an agency within Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). MiOSHA has two divisions: the General Industry and the Construction Industry.

Fall from height is the leading cause of work-related deaths and injuries in the U.S. MiOSHA made major changes to its requirements for walk-working surfaces and fall protection in the general industry. The changes followed OSHA’s updates to its general industry standards in February 2018.

Source: MiOSHA General Industry
Kee Dome, Detroit

Understanding Detroit's Fall Protection Requirements

When operating in a large metropolitan area like Detroit, Michigan, you will need to meet federal OSHA requirements as well as the local building code. To help you, we’ve outlined the most important federal and local requirements for fall protection systems in the Greater Detroit area.

OSHA Standard Interpretation - Do I follow OSHA or local building code in Detroit?

The strictest rules must be followed. Where local codes are in effect, they are generally more specific and more stringent than applicable OSHA regulations. Compatibility with OSHA regulations is seldom an issue. (source)

OSHA 1910.5(c)(1) - What OSHA code applies in Detroit?

If a particular standard is specifically applicable to a condition, practice, means, method, operation, or process, it shall prevail over any different general standard which might otherwise be applicable to the same scenario. (source)

MIBC 1015.2 - Where is guardrail required in Detroit?

Guards shall be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including mezzanines, equipment platforms, aisles, stairs, ramps, and landings that are located more that 30 inches measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36 inches horizontally to the edge of the open side. (source)

MIBC 1015.2 - At what height do I need fall protection or guardrail in Detroit?

Guardrails are required on any elevated walking surface above 30 inches. (source)

OSHA 1910.29 - What can a guardrail be made out of in Detroit?

Guardrails, as long as they comply with all applicable standards, may be made out of any material. (source)

MIBC 1015.3 - How tall does rooftop guardrail need to be in Detroit?

Guards can not be less than 42 inches tall. (source)

OSHA 1926 Subpart M App B - How far apart can guardrail posts be in Detroit?

Guardrail posts may not be spaced more than eight feet apart. (source)

OSHA 1910.29(b)(2) - Do I need a mid-rail in Detroit?

Midrails must be installed between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working surface when there is no wall or parapet wall at least 21 inches high. (source)

OSHA 1910.29(k) - When do I need a toeboard in Detroit?

Toeboards are required when there is danger of items falling from an elevated walking-working surface onto workers below. (source)

MIBC 1607.8.1 - What are the load requirements for rooftop railing in Detroit?

Handrails and guards must be designed to resist a concentrated load of 200 poundsand a linear load of 50 pounds per linear foot. (source)

OSHA 1910.29(b) - Can I use a non-penetrating guardrail in Detroit?

Yes, as long as it complies with all other guardrail standards. (source)

MIBC 1014 - Can guardrail serve as handrail in Detroit?

Guardrails and handrails serve two different purposes and have different requirements. A handrail may be attached to a guardrail, but they are not one in the same. (source)

MIBC 1015.2 - If my rooftop is lower than 22 feet but I have mechanical equipment close to the edge, do I need rooftop railing in Detroit?

Guards must be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including equipment platforms, that are located more that 30 inches measured vertically to the floor or grade below any point within 36 inches horizontally to the edge of the open side. (source)

MIBC 1015.7 - If my rooftop is lower than 22 feet but I have a roof hatch close to the edge, do I need rooftop railing in Detroit?

If you have a roof hatch located within 10 feet of the roof edge, the roof access or roof edge must be protected by guardrail. (source)

OSHA 1910.28(b)(3) - When is protection required when falling through a hole in Detroit?

Employees must be protected from falling through holes, including skylights, that have more than a 4 foot drop, by personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, or covers. (source)

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Michael Hannah
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