Guardrails are much more important than just meeting code requirements. They can save lives and prevent property damage. It’s a shame that many construction sites skip them during rough framing and other activities.
Remember, it takes only one mistake to cause serious consequences. Don’t take any chances!
Guardrails protect workers from falling off scaffolding, ladders, or other work platforms. They also help prevent vehicle collisions with workers or equipment and reduce property damage.
In addition, guardrails prevent accidents that could occur around stairwells, chute openings, skylights, window and doorway openings, mezzanines, balconies, and decks.
These openings can be dangerous, especially if workers or vehicles accidentally fall into them. Guardrail or modular railing systems are required to meet minimum structural load requirements set by OSHA and International Building Code (IBC). Those who fail to comply with the given standards put their employees at risk of severe injury or death.
For example, one type of guardrail commonly used on highways has been linked to multiple deaths and injuries. This is because the redesign eliminated its flexibility, which made it more likely to give way on impact and break into shards capable of cutting off limbs and piercing bodies. This new design was introduced without re-testing it.
Guardrails are expertly engineered to be as sturdy and hardwearing as possible. They can effortlessly bear the loads specified by building codes while also being easy to fit. This reduces the chance of damage.
If a vehicle collides with the guardrail, for instance, the system can absorb and deflect the force of impact. This ensures that the vehicle stays on the road and prevents more harm.
For instance, a temporary construction guardrail can protect workers from falling off roofs or interior edges and even through skylights. These falls are among the most common causes of construction worker fatalities.
Ultimately, while the general contractor should take responsibility for ensuring that guardrails are put up in time, everyone on site should be responsible for pointing out missing rails and ensuring that they are replaced as soon as possible.
It only takes a second for someone to fall and get injured.
Guardrails are not only a required safety feature in many commercial areas, but they also help to protect workers and keep them safe. Unlike handrails that offer support, guardrails are designed to be life-saving, and stop falls from elevated surfaces such as stairs or decks.
When workers are in high-risk work zones, they need to be able to depend on the protection of the building’s guardrail system.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t have guardrails in place when they should. As work progresses and changes are made to the structure, workers may remove guardrails or forget to put them back up.
Even on projects staffed by seasoned professionals, it’s not uncommon to see sections of guardrails missing from around stairs and windows. Guardrails prevent injuries from falls as well as collisions with equipment. These barriers act as visual and physical reminders for workers to avoid dangerous areas.
Guardrails reduce costs in several ways. First and foremost, they prevent injuries and minimize damage caused by collisions between people and equipment.
This saves money on workers’ compensation claims and repair costs. Guardrails make it easy for workers to get where they need to be while minimizing the risk of injury. Another way that guardrails reduce costs is by making it easier to access high places. Working on the roof or other high spaces would be easier with them, as workers have to find a stable surface to hold onto while working.
The IBC and OSHA have minimum structural load requirements for guardrails, requiring them to withstand 200 pounds of pressure. This means they are strong and durable enough to withstand the constant wear and tear of a busy industrial setting.
In addition, they are designed to withstand impact from vehicles traveling at high speeds.