Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is The Height Of My Fall Protection Guardrail That Important?

As you know, in the construction industry, we are required to use fall protection when a worker is exposed to a fall of 6' or more to a lower level.  When your choice of fall protection is to use a guardrail, the toprail of the guardrail is required to be set at 42", plus or minus 3".  That means the highest you can legally set your toprail of the guardrail system would be 45" and the lowest you can legally set it would be 39".  Is it that important?  If my toprail is set at 36", is that good enough?  The answer is no!  OSHA recently issued a citation to a contractor that had an employee working at a commercial project next to a window sill.  The window sill height was 36".  The contractor should have installed a secured 2 x 4 or secured some other form of an approved guardrail across the window opening somewhere between the 39" to 45" height level.  Doing so would have saved this contractor from an OSHA citation. 
Please don't let this happen to you or to our company.  Please remember that the top rail of your guardrail system must be at the correct height.  The toprail of a guardrail must also be able to withstand 200 lbs of outward and downward force and the guardrail system must also have a midrail in place.  Should you have any questions about fall protection, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

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