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

The city of Virginia Beach resides in the state of Virginia and Virginia has an approved OSHA State Plan called VOSH. Regarding fall protection, VOSH refers to OSHA CFR 2019 for all applicable fall protection requirements.

Along with VOSH, the city of Virginia Beach follows the International Fire Code (IFC) with some amendments. The amendments focus on a variety of things, but very few affect the standards surrounding fall protection.

Understanding Virgina Beach Fall Protection Requirements

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

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 Virginia Beach?

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)

IFC 1015.2 - Where is guardrail required in Virginia Beach?

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)

IFC 1015.2 - At what height do I need fall protection or guardrail in Virginia Beach?

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

VOSH I.A. - What can a guardrail be made out of in Virginia Beach?

The components of a guardrail system must be designed and assembled in such a way that the completed system meets all applicable requirements. (source)

IFC 1015.3 - How tall does rooftop guardrail need to be in Virginia Beach?

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

VOSH I.A. - How far apart can guardrail posts be in Virginia Beach?

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

OSHA 1926.502(b)(2) - Do I need a mid-rail in Virginia Beach?

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 Virginia Beach?

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

OSHA 1926.502(b)(3) - What are the load requirements for rooftop railing in Virginia Beach?

Handrails and guards must be designed to resist a concentrated load of 200 pounds. (source)

VOSH I.A. - Can I use a non-penetrating guardrail in Virginia Beach?

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

IFC 1014 - Can guardrail serve as handrail in Virginia Beach?

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)

IFC 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 Virginia Beach?

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)

IFC 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 Virginia Beach?

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 1926.501(b)(4)(i) - When is protection required when falling through a hole in Virginia Beach?

Employees must be protected from falling through holes, including skylights, that have more than a 6 foot drop, by personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, or covers. (source)

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Michael Hannah
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