Guardrails serve many different purposes within a warehouse environment. Often, facilities use them to protect equipment, fixtures, and employees on the floor from forklift traffic and collisions. A guardrail system is also an effective fall prevention measure that is easy to implement and can protect any workers who may be at risk on a mezzanine or higher level.
Fall Prevention System
Of course, we all understand the basics of fall prevention. Generally, engineering controls and restraint systems are used to help protect workers who are working above the warehouse floor. But, according to OSHA, a guardrail system can be installed and used as a barrier to prevent workers from falling over a surface edge to any lower level. Rooftops, mezzanines, scaffolds, catwalks, observation platforms, and balconies are just some of the areas where a guardrail system can be installed to bolster your fall prevention efforts.
Guardrail Requirements for Effective Fall Prevention
For guardrails to do their job properly, they’ll need to meet a set of standards that can vary depending on the goal of their implementation. Guardrails meant to prevent falls will have a somewhat different set of requirements to meet than a system designed to withstand a forklift collision. These are:
- Smooth surface which is free of burrs. This prevents lacerations and punctures and keeps clothing from snagging on the rails.
- Toprails and midrails ought to be at least a quarter inch in diameter.
- The system must be designed so that it can withstand at least 200 pounds, applied within two inches of the top edge in any direction outward or downward.
- The midrails need to be able to withstand at least 150 pounds of force.
- The toprail should be about 39-45 inches from the working level, and it should adjustable to account for workers working in an elevated location from the working surface.
- If balusters or other intermediate members are used in-between posts, these should not be set more than 19 inches apart.
- If you decide to use wire rope as the top rail of your system, flags made with high-vis material need to be set at six feet intervals.
When it comes to fall prevention, there’s no such thing as being too cautious. Protect your workers with a new guardrail system from S.W. Betz.
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The S.W. Betz Company, Inc. has been providing businesses in Maryland and beyond with all of their essential Weighing, Material Handling, Dock, and Warehouse equipment since 1933. We also offer warehouse layout and design logistics solutions from experienced, knowledgeable experts.
We carry a variety of top warehouse equipment brands to help with your design logistics, such as: Wesco, Magliner, Cogan, Quantum Storage Systems, and more.
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