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Tip of the Week No. 141 – 12/26/06 – Guardrail Heights


Do not approach a 42-inch guardrail if you are over 76 inches (6’4″) tall.
The body’s center of gravity becomes too high to be supported by a 42-inch rail and tipping over the railing becomes a real possibility.
New guardrails should preferably be 46 inches high.

Regardless of the height at which you are working, do not extend your elbow beyond railing. A warning sign is recommended for platforms.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 120.
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Tip of the Week No. 46 A – 11/01/04 – Guardrails.


As the world’s well-fed populations grow taller, guardrails (standardized at 42 inches in North America in the past two or three decades) may soon have to carry signs warning about their proper use, until they are elevated or broadened several more inches (possibly to 46 inches as a next step). Currently, guardrails at 42 inches might be protection for persons up to 76 inches tall standing on a platform.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 77.
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Tip of the Week No. 47 A – 11/08/04- Guardrails


Do not use guardrails as anchor points for fall arrest equipment, unless a structural engineer approves them for that specific purpose.
There must be an engineering drawing that indicates which specific locations are suitable as anchor points; what equipment, by rating, maybe used; and how that equipment is to be attached.
In addition, the worker must be trained in recognition of approved anchor points.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 3rd Edition” page 120.
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