When a fall hazard exists in the work place the Hierarchy of fall protection should always be followed. If elimination of the hazard is not an option, “Passive Systems” should be the next choice. Passive fall protection means isolating or separating the hazard or hazardous work practice from employees or others. This might include guardrails, skylight screens or covers over floor openings.
According to Fed/OSHA 1910.23(c)(1) Every open-sided floor or platform 4 feet or more above adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides except where there is entrance to a ramp, stairway, or fixed ladder. The railing shall be provided with a toe board wherever, beneath the open sides. In California guardrails must be provided if a hazard of more than 30” exists.
Guardrails are the most commonly used form of passive fall protection based on the ease of use and wide variety of equipment available today. Versatile Systems offers multiple options to protect our clients’ employees whether it’s a custom fabricated railing system permanently attached to your building or a non-penetrating railing solutions such as Safety Rail 2000 and Architectural Series rails by Bluewater MFG. The options are endless and we are here to help choose the best solution that fits your facility.
Some fall hazards just can’t be protected with guardrails, but in most cases they are the easiest and safest choice. Typically guardrails already exist in the obvious places in and around the workplace. The need is in less obvious places like loading docks and roofs. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that falls from roofs are almost always fatal. Most companies think of their roof as “no man’s land” or off limits to the daily employees but the question should be asked. Who is going on our roof and when? Is there equipment requiring scheduled maintenance or issues with the roof itself that requires employees to clean drains or other preventative maintenance work? Do employees just go up there to get away for a quick break?
Most often there is a reason for personnel to access the roof and typically safe guards are not put into place to ensure that an accident won’t happen. No one intends to accidentally fall from a roof but it still happens daily. Could these accidents be prevented with a simple guardrail solution?
Versatile Systems is passionate about rooftop safety. Let us develop conceptual drawings and designs to focus on the areas that need protection. Some circumstances require the entire roof to be guarded while others only require areas where there is a potential for a catastrophic accident; we are here to help. In most cases an initial design and proposal can be developed from just a google image of the roof and some input from our client.
Contractors, did you know that Versatile Systems has a rental fleet of portable weighted base safety rails? They can be set up along the perimeter of your roofing project and allow your team to work safely without the use of conventional fall arrest systems. Call us for a quote! It’s safer and your team will be more efficient!
Guardrail systems take the worry out of fall protection. They remove the need for harnesses, lanyards, extensive training and rescue programs. It’s just plain safer!