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Guardrail Specs - Help!

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  • Guardrail Specs - Help!

    Hey guys,
    Here is my question: I am helping design/fab a mezzanine for a customer, and we have four sections of railing/guardrails that are removable. I am wondering, what is the maximum and minimum spacing between the rails. I have searched through a fair amount of OSHA documentation, and have yet to find an answer. I have attached an image for reference. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys! Thanks in advance! Removable Guardrail Top View.pdf
    Last edited by RTCmiller; 08-26-2013, 05:21 PM.

  • #2
    I made 100's of feet of it when i was a Millwright for a factory i worked in. We just kept the same spacing as a normal railing but we did add a 4" kick plate to the bottom same as the regular railing...Bob
    Bob Wright

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    • #3
      No spacing larger then 4 inches. And minimum 36 inches tall. Hope that helps
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      • #4
        This sorta covers your question

        "You indicated in your conversation with Art Buchanan, as well as in your letter, that two tanks are located adjacent to each other. A runway with standard guardrails is located on top of each tank with the end of the two runways butted to each other, but not connected (a drawing was attached). You also indicated that the two runways cannot be attached to each other because of the independent movement of the tanks that occurs during operation; however, engineering modification can be incorporated to minimize the gap between the two guardrails. Based on the information that you have provided, a maximum opening of four inches between the two guardrails would ensure compliance with 29 CFR 1910.23."

        https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...ONS&p_id=22312
        Ed Conley
        http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
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        MM211
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        • #5
          If this is for a commercial or industrial application the 4" rule does not apply. A guard rail must be no less than 42" in height with a mid rail and a 4" tall toe plate. If hand rails are required 36" is the preferred heigth.
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          • #6
            Thanks for all the replies guys! This railing does have a toekick already attached as indicated by the pink lines on the drawing. The toekick will be 1/4' x 4" flat bar, welded to the uprights so as to create a OSHA safe toekick. The guardrail will be 42" in height, measured from the top surface of the deck, with an intermediate rail halfway between the top rail and deck. I have attached a side view of the project, maybe that will clarify a little. So is 4" between railings the maximum? Is there a minimum as far as anyone knows, to prevent hands and fingers from getting caught between the railings?

            Thanks again for the help guys!
            Removable Guardrail Top View.pdf
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              What fabricator stated and you described does meet OSHA standards. The additional 36" high handrail on the inside of the guardrail is normally only used if you also have to meet ADA rules. The 4" max spacing between rails or pickets applies mainly to residential applications.
              Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by fabricator View Post
                If this is for a commercial or industrial application the 4" rule does not apply. A guard rail must be no less than 42" in height with a mid rail and a 4" tall toe plate. If hand rails are required 36" is the preferred heigth.
                The 4" that I linked to does apply in his application- it is the maximum distance allowed between 2 adjacent guardrails.

                We are not discussing picket spacing.

                That you are correct on as pickets are not required on guardrails.
                Ed Conley
                http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RTCmiller View Post
                  Thanks for all the replies guys! This railing does have a toekick already attached as indicated by the pink lines on the drawing. The toekick will be 1/4' x 4" flat bar, welded to the uprights so as to create a OSHA safe toekick. The guardrail will be 42" in height, measured from the top surface of the deck, with an intermediate rail halfway between the top rail and deck. I have attached a side view of the project, maybe that will clarify a little. So is 4" between railings the maximum? Is there a minimum as far as anyone knows, to prevent hands and fingers from getting caught between the railings?

                  Thanks again for the help guys!
                  [ATTACH]32927[/ATTACH]
                  I couldn't find anything on Minimum distance
                  Ed Conley
                  http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                  MM252
                  MM211
                  Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                  TA185
                  Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                  O/A set
                  SO 2020 Bender
                  You can call me Bacchus

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                  • #10
                    From what i read in the OSHA letter the spacing between guardrails is to be treated the same as the spacing between a guardrail and a wall and that spacing distance can only be a Maximum of 4"


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                    Ed Conley
                    http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                    MM252
                    MM211
                    Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                    TA185
                    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                    O/A set
                    SO 2020 Bender
                    You can call me Bacchus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, heres the deal, You have gotten mostly good info and some wrong info.

                      A guard rail in an industrial application requires ( Where Kids are not allowed ) needs to be a minimum 42" which means 41-15/16 fails so go 42-1/4" to be safe.

                      In a factory type setting you need a top rail, a mid rail and a 4" tall toe plate, keep in mind in addition you may not have a opening greater than 21" between the top rail and the mid rail or the space between the mid rail and the toe plate.

                      In a commercial setting like the mall, school or apartment complex which is consider to be ( Multi family dwelling ) You are required to have a rail which is at least 42" tall without a space for a 4" sphear to fit through ( Sphear meaning no openings that a 4" ball will fit through.)

                      Residential code which is a single family dwelling allows for the guards to have a minimum height of 36" tall.

                      When going down stairs in a commercial setting you need a 42" min. guard rail measured off the stair nosing with no openings greater than 4" ( However, you are also required to have a grab rail that is not higher that 38" but not lower than 34" measured off the stair nosing vertically, I put my top of rail at 35" off the stair nosing. ) There is one exception to this rule, If you have stairs that does not have a stringer on the side and you have a triangulated area below the railing you are allowed for a opening not larger for a 6" sphear.

                      These are Michigan codes which are some of the strictest, My guess is that you will be safe using these requirements However I strongly urge you to check with your local building officials.

                      I just went on vacation to Kentucky and the motel we stayed at would not have passed our Michigan codes in many ways ( However most of my work is done in Ann Arbor, MI and they are very strict.

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