Today I'm going to talk about the detail of the American Certification of Safety Railing System -OSHA. This is a very important topic for anyone who works on walking-working surfaces that are 4 feet or more above a lower level, or above dangerous equipment. OSHA has updated its requirements for guardrail systems, handrails, and stair rail systems to prevent falls and injuries in the workplace. Let's dive into the details!
A guardrail system is a barrier that prevents employees from falling to a lower level. OSHA requires guardrail systems for unprotected sides and edges of walking-working surfaces that are 4 feet or more above a lower level, such as roofs, platforms, ramps, runways, etc. OSHA also requires guardrail systems for holes in walking-working surfaces, such as skylights, floor openings, etc. OSHA defines a guardrail system as a vertical barrier consisting of top rails, mid rails, and posts that can withstand a force of at least 200 pounds applied in any direction at any point along the top edge.
The top edge height of the guardrail system must be 42 inches, plus or minus 3 inches, above the walking-working surface. The mid-rail must be halfway between the top rail and the walking-working surface. If there is no mid-rail, then there must be a screen or mesh that extends from the top rail to the walking-working surface. The guardrail system must also have toe boards that are at least 3.5 inches high and can prevent objects from falling to a lower level.
A handrail is a rail that provides employees with a handhold for support on stairs or ramps. A stair rail system is a barrier that prevents employees from falling off the open side of a stairway. OSHA requires handrails and stair rail systems for stairs that have four or more risers or are more than 30 inches high.
For stair rail systems installed on or after January 17, 2017, the top rail and handrail must be separate. The top rail must be at least 42 inches in height and the handrail must be 30 to 38 inches in height (as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the rail). The handrail must also have a smooth surface that does not cause injuries or snag clothing. The stair rail system must be able to withstand a force of at least 200 pounds applied in any direction at any point along the top edge.
For stair rail systems installed before January 17, 2017, the top rail may serve as both a top rail and a handrail if it is between 36 and 38 inches in height (as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the rail). The stair rail system must also meet the other requirements mentioned above.
OSHA certification of safety railing systems is not only a legal requirement but also a best practice for ensuring a safe and compliant workplace. By following OSHA standards, employers can reduce the risk of falls and injuries for their workers, as well as avoid costly fines and penalties for non-compliance. OSHA certification also demonstrates a commitment to safety culture and employee well-being.
If you need help with designing, installing, or maintaining your safety railing systems, you need to find a professional safety railing system designer. They can offer free consultations and site assessments to help you identify your fall hazards and choose the best railing system for your needs. They also provide installation services and training to ensure your railing system is installed correctly and maintained.
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I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about the detail of the American Certification of Safety Railing System - OSHA. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and stay safe!