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The construction of guardrail systems as well as their use shall comply with the following provisions:
  • Top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, shall be 42 inches plus or minus 3 inches above the walking/working level and be able to resist a 200lb. force. Note: When employees are using stilts, the top edge height of the top rail, or equivalent member, shall be increased an amount equal to the height of the stilts.
  • Midrails shall be installed midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.
  • Screens and mesh, when used, shall extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports.
  • Intermediate members (such as balusters), when used between posts, shall be not more than 19 inches apart.
  • Other structural members (such as architectural panels or interior framing) shall be installed such that there are no openings in the guardrail system that are more than 19 inches wide.
  • Manila, plastic or synthetic rope being used for top rails or midrails shall be inspected as frequently as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the strength of this section.
  • Guardrail systems must be surfaced as to prevent injury to an employee from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothing.
  • The ends of all top rails and midrails shall not overhang the terminal posts.
  • Steel banding and plastic banding shall not be used as top rails or midrails.
  • If wire rope is used:
    • Top rails and midrails shall be at least one-quarter inch nominal diameter thickness to prevent cuts and lacerations.
    • It shall be flagged at not more than 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
  • When guardrail systems are used at hoisting areas, a chain, gate or removable guardrail section shall be placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when hoisting operations are not taking place.
  • When guardrail systems are used around holes used for the passage of materials, the hole shall have not more than two sides provided with removable guardrail sections to allow the passage of materials. When the hole is not in use, it shall be closed over with a cover, or a guardrail system shall be provided along all unprotected sides or edges.
  • When guardrail systems are used around holes which are used as points of access (such as ladder ways), they shall be provided with a gate, or be so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the hole.
  • Guardrail systems used on ramps and runways shall be erected along each unprotected side or edge.
In areas where guardrail systems are in place, but need to be removed to allow overhand bricklaying work or leading edge work to take place, only that portion of the guardrail necessary to accomplish that day's work shall be removed and all employees shall be protected by the use of a Personal Fall Arrest System.
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