Guardrail Systems

What are basic guidelines to designing a guardrail system in compliance with OSHA Subpart D for Fall Protection Systems?

The basic guidelines are the following:

  1. Top rail: Must be installed at 42 inches height, plus or minus 3 inches above the walking-working surface. The top rail may not exceed 45 inches, provided the guardrail system. Top rail must be capable of withstanding, without facture, a force of at least 200 pounds in a downward or outward direction within 2 inches of the top rail.

  2. Vertical Post: Must have adequate capacity to support the required loading of the mid and top rails.

  3. Mid rail: Must be installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking-working surface.

  4. Walking-working surface, according to OSHA, means any horizontal or vertical surface on or through which an employee walks, works, or gains access to a work area or workplace location.

  5. Roof Anchors located within 15 feet of the roof edge require fall protection.

Safety from the top down.
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