Guardrails And Its Related Uses
Studies show that death related incidents of the construction workers occur due to fall. Because of such rising incidents and the increased awareness regarding the happenings, different safety guidelines and measures are at place today at modern worksites. This has been in a bid to minimize the occurrence of such incidents as far as possible. Use of horizontal lifeline is one such measure and so is the installation of guardrails.
These refer to simple barriers that give effective prevention to workers against falling from heights to the lower levels. It can be addition of middle or top rails, screening, mesh, or uprights among others. Screening is done between walking surface and top rail in most cases. Also, at the working level edges it is important to provide toe-boards to prevent slippage of different materials or tools on workers who are present below.
• Use of top rails: guardrail top edges need to be between 39” - 45”capable of withstanding a force of 200 pounds downward or outward along top edges. Under this kind of load, deflection of top edge may not be below 39”.
• Use of toe boards: minimum height required for the toe boards is 3.5”with the gap in between 0.25”or less. When you are using mesh in your guardrail systems, opening bigger than 1” is not allowed as per OSHA guidelines. It should also be capable of withstanding outward or downward force equaling 50 pounds at least.
• Use of banding or rope: it is possible to use wire ropes associated with your guardrails if these have a diameter of 0.25” at least. This will prevent lacerations and cuts with high visibility flagging or marking within intervals of 6 foot.
• Preparation of surface: surface preparations related to the guardrails is also extremely important with complete finishes. This will help to prevent lacerations, punctures, or cuts doing away with chances of clothes snagging. Also, mid rail and top rail ends shouldn't hang over terminal posts if it is posing some kind of hazard.
• Installation of intermediate members: as per the guidelines related to fall protection safety in absence of parapet or wall 21”high between top rail and working surface, intermediate member installation is required. This signifies use of mesh, mid rails, screens, or vertical intermediate members. Positioning of mid rails will be between working level and top rail. Those who are using mesh or screening should ensure that it covers entire openings like working level, uprights, and the top rail. For balusters as intermediate members, spacing between them should be 19”or less. Finally, it is important that the intermediate members, mid rails, mesh, or screen should be able to withstand a minimum of 150 pounds outward, downward force.
Simple installation of the guardrails however will not do. It is important for the employers to ensure that every member of the crew has undergone training related to the same. They should be able to understand it properly and get the optimal benefits at all times. To know more about different kinds of guardrails, other safety equipments and protection measures, do not forget to visit the website Caisafety.com.
About The Author
Brent Owens is a safety expert who works hand in hand with many construction companies across the country to ensure that employees are always protected while at work. He recommends CAISafety.com as the best name to trust for high quality fall protection systems.