The importance of workplace safety cannot be stressed enough. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls cause a large number of deaths in the construction industry every year. The number of fatal falls jumped a whopping 26% during the five years 2011–2016. Not only do falls hurt workers physically, but they also cause mental injury and distress to them and their loved ones.
Apart from that, a single fall can install work for many days, if not weeks, derailing the project. Therefore, most employers are looking at safety rails to prevent falls. The options for 360 degree safety are many, and here’s what you need to consider when choosing a mobile safety rail.
Non-Penetrating vs Penetrating
Guardrails can be permanently fixed into the structure by drilling holes and fixing them on the walls and floor. While expensive, it is a permanent solution that can last for a year. On the other hand, specific structures do not facilitate the permanent installation of safety rails.
The answer is non-penetrating, freestanding safety rails that can be moved as required. They have heavy cast iron bases that do not require drilling through the walls or floor. The iron base will hold the rails in place, giving you safety while maintaining the structure’s integrity.
Installing any safety rail is not enough. You need to ensure that the entire setup meets the OSHA requirements and regulations. Any platform four feet or higher than the ground or lower level will need guardrails to prevent falls.
Therefore, making sure that the rail meets sections 1910.23 & 1926.500–1926.503 of the OSHA fall protection standards. You have many options for 360 degree safety that are within the regulatory framework. You have to pick one that meets your requirements.
Easy to Install
The safety rails should be easy to install so that your workers focus on the project at hand rather than the installation of guardrails. Non-penetrating rails are quick to install and dismantle and save a lot of time. You can consider them over those that require drilling holes into the floor and walls.
Work is done in batches, and the safety rails need to be moved from one place to another. Also, outriggers need to be placed where you need to rail to make an angle. Such freestanding rooftop guardrails need to offer the flexibility to make turns anywhere. Thus, picking the ones that allow this flexibility is a good idea as it makes work efficient.
The safety rails need to do their job of protecting workers from falling while remaining flexible and easy to install. It requires them to be made from heavy-duty materials such as cast iron and galvanized steel. Non-penetrating rail bases also need rubber pads at the bottom to ensure that they remain intact even on slippery surfaces.
When you have workers doing their job at heights more than four feet, falls can cause concern. You need to make sure that you take all the precautionary measures prescribed by OSHA and then some to ensure worker safety. You can choose from the many options for 360 degree safety and above are the points to consider when picking one.