Unexpected Places in Your Workplace Where You Need Safety Railing
There are obvious places where you know safety railing is required for your safety; at the edge of a roof, working on scaffolding, or a tall building or piece of equipment. However, there are other places where you may hardly realise you need safety railing in place. Below are 4 unexpected situations where you should consider installing safety railings before you begin to work. Please read on.
Next to Wall-Mounted Ladders
Ladders are very efficient pieces of access equipment found in almost every workplace. Most wall-mounted ladders help workers move from roof to ground or from one roof elevation to another. However, fixed access ladders near the edge of a roof or equipment can be very dangerous. Workers are at risk of falling anytime they use the ladder. They may fall when climbing up or as they wait for their turn to descend. Erecting safety rails on each side of the ladder helps ensure safe access hence low chances of avoidable falls and injuries.
While most roof hatches are always closed when nobody is climbing through them, there’s a high chance some workers may leave them open to allow access back into the building while working on the roof. No matter the excuse for leaving them open, it creates a dangerous fall hazard, especially for the workers who may not be keen where they’re walking or who may misjudge their step due to some obstructions on the way. The workers may also find themselves gathering around the hatch as they wait for co-workers to descend. Installing safety rails around them help mitigate this hazard. The rails will also provide a handhold to provide balance and security when ascending or descending through the hatch.
Parapets are often thought to provide fall protection but this depends on how high they’re. Those that are too low may not be considered compliant fall protection. Parapets higher than 21’’ should have safety railing or have a complete rail system inside of it to achieve the necessary height. The minimum height for your parapet to be considered compliant fall protection should be 39’’.
Skylights can be very dangerous since there’s hardly any visible opening to warn people about the fall hazard they’re exposed to. They usually give a false sense of security considering most people have no concept about the weight capacity of the skylight dome. Protecting the skylights with screens may be very costly and could just deem unnecessary. The skylights need to be protected both during maintenance and during construction. You may consider installing permanent skylight rails to eliminate the need for lugging fall protection equipment to the roof every time you have a project up there. You can also erect temporary rails around the skylights during maintenance and construction.
Roof to Roof Drops
In most instances, safety rails for roof edges are often thought of to be used only for the building’s perimeter. However, other roof parts create fall hazards, especially where there’s a change in elevation. For roof drops with a change in elevation greater than 4’ for maintenance or 6’ for construction, you’ll need some form of fall protection and safety rails can be the proper solution to consider.