Helping to Keep Your Workers Safe with Fall Protection Systems and Equipment

The city of San Diego resides in the state of California and California has an approved OSHA State Plan called Cal-OSHA. Regarding fall protection, Cal-OSHA refers to OSHA CFR 2019 for all applicable fall protection requirements.

Along with Cal-OSHA, the city of San Diego follows the California Building Code (CBC). The California Building Code adheres to the International Building Code standards, but applies amendments that are relevant to the state.

Understanding San Diego Fall Protection Requirements

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

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 San Diego?

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)

CBC 1015.2 - Where is guardrail required in San Diego?

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)

Cal-OSHA 3210 - At what height do I need fall protection or guardrail in San Diego?

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

Cal-OSHA 1620 - What can a guardrail be made out of in San Diego?

Railings shall be constructed of wood or in an equally substantial manner from other materials, and must comply with all other guardrail standards. (source)

CBC 1015.3 - How tall does rooftop guardrail need to be in San Diego?

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

Cal-OSHA 3209(c) - How far apart can guardrail posts be in San Diego?

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

Cal-OSHA 1620 - Do I need a mid-rail in San Diego?

A mid-rail shall be halfway between the top rail and the floor, platform, runway or ramp when there is no wall or parapet wall at least 21 inches high. (source)

Cal-OSHA 1632 - When do I need a toeboard in San Diego?

Where there is danger of items falling from an elevated surface, covers or guardrail with toeboards must be provided. (source)

CBC 1607.8.1 - What are the load requirements for rooftop railing in San Diego?

All railings must be able to withstand a concentrated load of 200 pounds and a linear load of 50 pounds per linear foot. (source)

Cal-OSHA 3209 - Can I use a non-penetrating guardrail in San Diego?

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

CBC 1014 - Can guardrail serve as handrail in San Diego?

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)

Cal-OSHA 3210 - If my rooftop is lower than 22 feet but I have a roof hatch close to the edge, do I need rooftop railing in San Diego?

Guardrails must surround all open sides of elevated work locations, including roof openings. (source)

Cal-OSHA 3210 - If my rooftop is lower than 22 feet but I have mechanical equipment close to the edge, do I need rooftop railing in San Diego?

Guards must be provided on all open sides of unenclosed and elevated work locations. (source)

Cal-OSHA 1632 - When is protection required when falling through a hole in San Diego?

Every roof opening must be guarded by either railings and toeboards or by covers. The covers must be able to withstand a minimum of 400 pounds. (source)

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Michael Hannah
Fall Protection Specialist
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