Guardrails space a stationary (or "fixed") system used to safeguard workers from drops when working at heights. Guardrails are a preferred method of protecting workers since the mechanism does not count on the worker to it is in trained come use, inspect, and wear a loss protection system.

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Well constructed guardrails space a reliable and convenient means of loss protection because they act together a visible and also physical obstacle to aid prevent falls from heights or between levels including falls from roofs, balconies, stairwells or drops into open up holes. Guardrails are offered where covers, floors or walls cannot be mounted or space not practical.

Guardrails are provided in every industry and can be viewed in:

retail shops commercial settings construction sites warehouses shipping infrastructure landscaping and also work locations in herbal settings, and any workplace with an accessible rooftop.

While guardrails often additionally have handrails, they room not the same thing. Handrails offer as a handhold world use to support themselves while using up or under stairs, ramps, or crossing level surfaces. Guardrails room designed come prevent falls over one unprotected leaf or right into an opening.

Install a guardrail if the loss hazard or functioning at heights cannot be eliminated. Guardrails need to be offered when a worker could have access to the unprotected leaf of any type of of the following work surfaces and also is exposed to a autumn from a elevation or between levels. If one employee can autumn into or top top dangerous devices such together a conveyor belt, that is also an excellent practice to protect against such falls by installing guardrails and toe boards. Make sure the guardrail is installed about the sheet or opening before work begins.

Installing a guardrail is great practice:

around a balcony or mezzanine in ~ the edges of catwalks or overhead conveyor platforms follow me the bridges approximately scaffolds, increased platforms, or open up platforms ~ above aerial tools at the edge of roofs wherein work may be performed along the open edges the elevated working areas such together the top floors of building under building and construction or being repaired about work elevated occupational surfaces including platforms, scaffolds, runways, or ramps roughly openings in floors, roofs, and in working surfaces wherein the openings room not spanned or protected open edges of slab formwork for floors and roofs any kind of where workers can fall into water, operation machinery, or hazardous substances.

In most jurisdictions, use of a guardrail is specified for certain circumstances. Always check with your jurisdiction for precise requirements.

There are two main types of guardrails - job developed guardrails and also manufactured guardrail systems. When job constructed guardrails are generally made the wood, made guardrail solution are easily accessible in a range of materials and may have actually parts do of mesh, netting or fencing. Guardrails commonly feature a top rail, mid-rail, toe boards with evenly spaced upright posts.


Regardless the type, make sure all guardrails used fulfill the regulatory requirements and are constructed according to requirements (e.g., height and also spacing requirements of guardrail components and/or are installed according to the manufacturer"s instructions.

To prevent civilization from falling, guardrails must:

be high enough to avoid a human being from falling end the height of them. Be solid enough to stand up to the pressure of the number of people most likely to lean or press up against them. Consider also feasible impacts indigenous tools and other materials used nearby. have actually evenly spaced articles that close sufficient together come prevent people from falling with the gaps. If using a produced guardrail system that does not usage vertical posts, the must administer equal security against comparable gaps. Be set up as close come the open up edge as is reasonable. Extend along the whole length of the opened or unprotected edge. It is in made of materials with smooth surface that room not abrasive and also will not cut skin or snag clothing. Typical materials offered are wood and metal.


Regulations often require a load specification. This need refers come the amount of force that guardrails may be supposed to support, and is measured in newtons (N) or pounds (lbs).

The force requirements will rely on the application of the guardrail and also the legislative requirements in her jurisdiction.

The CSA typical Z797-18 Code of practice for accessibility scaffold also provides minimum pack bearing and also height requirements for guardrails and also toe boards.


Make sure workers in the area close to the unguarded sheet are defended from drops by other method (travel restraint, autumn arrest, netting, etc.) until the guardrail is totally installed.

When building guardrails ~ above the job,

think about how long the guardrail will certainly be compelled (and variable in the neighborhood weather and other environment). If building the guardrail indigenous wood, just use lumber that is construction grade high quality or better. Part jurisdictions call for the lumber used be spruce, pine tree or fir (S-P-F) timber. Examine the timber for damages or rot. Timber should have actually no clearly shows defects the could influence its loadbearing capacity. Select the proper fasteners because that the materials being used. Make certain all nails and also other fasteners supplied are strong enough to stand up to the forces used to them. Make sure the wooden surface ar is smooth and also that the finished guardrail go not have protruding nails, screws, or stormy edges. Do not reuse old building and construction materials.

Other item to think about include:

The number of people in a work area The size of the occupational area The load and type of devices or products being provided in the area even if it is the guardrails space to be a permanent or momentary solution


It might be crucial to remove guardrails or sections of a guardrail in a functioning area, such together unloading products at a site over ground level. Follow good practice to ensure there room not drops through an unprotected opening. Improper removal of the guardrails deserve to leave protruding edge or parts, like nails, that might injure workers, so use the best tools and follow all established building procedures.

Before remove a guardrail:

recognize the work-related area that will certainly be affected by the removal of the guardrail. Note an area huge enough to store unprotected employees far from the autumn hazard. For example, in Ontario it is recommended the this distance be "at the very least 2 metres (6 feet, 6 inches) from either next of the opening and also at lest 2 metres back from the open up edge that the job-related surface". Clear the area so the is free from slip or trip perils such together ice and debris. Note it off as a autumn hazard area with caution tape or a warning barrier. Alert every those working nearby that a guardrail is gift removed. Short article warning signs external the roped turn off area alerting anyone of the peril from the unprotected autumn hazard. Collection up take trip restraint or fall arrest solution for everyone working in the fall hazard area ~ the guardrail is removed.

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After the guardrail is removed, everyone functioning inside the significant off area have to use a travel restraint or fall arrest device at all times.


When reinstalling or rebuilding a guardrail, make certain it is installed as intended follow to the manufacturer"s indict or its original design. Save the gotten rid of guardrails or sections in a place where castle cannot fall on who or end up being a expedition hazard.


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