Jason Wible Frenchcreek Shares Insight Into the Essentials of Installing Guardrails

Jason Wible Frenchcreek

Proper guardrails are a vital requirement for safety on a number of job sites. It obviously is not enough to simply expect workers to not get too close to the edge. OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a number of standards pertaining to guardrails.

Jason Wible Frenchcreek mentions that guardrails are there to protect workers at heights, as well as employees, pedestrians, and property on the ground.

Jason Wible Frenchcreek marks vital aspects of the proper installation of guardrails

Guardrails have to be constructed in a proper manner. They should be able to stand up to construction use and prevent someone from falling.  Broken or damaged guardrails additionally have to be replaced or repaired at once upon discovery. Guardrails should be maintained appropriately throughout all phases of work on the site.

Generally speaking, guardrails are needed when a building has landings, steps, platforms, or accessible roof spaces. They are usually installed when there is a difference of 30 in. or greater between two upper and lower surfaces. OSHA requirements in regard to guardrails are pretty stringent. No matter whether someone is in the construction industry or is associated with a line of work that falls more within the “general industry” category, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a certain level of protection to workers against falls. If a work area is more than 6 ft. higher than the lower level, then a guardrail or other fall protection system would be needed.  Moreover, if there is more than a 6 ft. difference in a working surface that is lower than the ground level, like a pit or a well, some type of railing system is necessary.

While having guardrails for employees and visitors would help a company to stay in compliance with OSHA, it is simply not enough to just have a set of guardrails for a building. In case these guardrails are not installed properly, people may run into trouble while trying to meet the detailed standards of an organization. The situation may also incur the company greater expenses over time due to high insurance premiums and fines. In case an accident takes place, and the lack of oversight by the company causes someone to get hurt, it might potentially be held liable for a considerable amount of money due to lawsuits and medical expenses. For a guardrail to be up to code, it should at least be 42 inches above the ground-level space. Unless there is some other sort of fall protection system installed, a guardrail must be in place for the roof area of a building.

Jason Wible Frenchcreek marks that the strength of a guardrail is defined by its structural load capacity.  Structural load basically refers to the ability of the guardrail to withstand different types of forces and actions that cause stress on its design. OSHA does not dictate quality control for guardrails or any such installation criteria.

However, it does state that any employee working on the roof of a building has to be protected from falls with a quality protection system. In case it is not possible to use guardrails on a building, then a personal fall arrest system can be used instead.