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At Which Drop Off Height is Fall Protection Railing Required?

OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act) is the standard for safety in the United States to keep workers protected. Even though as safety professionals and standard setters ourselves, we would like to be able to provide our customers with a straight forward answers, but even OSHA says there isn’t always an exact answer as facilities, locations, and job sites can all be different. And that is especially true for fall protection. 

Providing Fall Protection Railing is dependent on a multitude of factors: the industry, the height that you’re working at, what equipment you’re working with, etc. There are two general standards that OSHA sets:

General Industry requires fall protection for any drop off height over 4 feet. (1910.28(b)(1)(i)):

“Except as provided elsewhere in this section, the employer must ensure that each employee on a walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected from falling by one or more of the following: Guardrail systems (1910.28(b)(1)(i)(A), Safety net systems (1910.28(b)(1)(i)(B), or Personal Fall Protection Systems (1910.28(b)(1)(i)(C).” 

Construction requires fall protection for any drop off height over 6 feet. (1926.501(b)(1)):

“Unprotected sides and edges. Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.”

Additionally, depending on your industry, there could be a No Minimum Height Rule. Meaning, you should use your best judgment on whether or not you should install a Fall Protection Rail. If it looks like a liability, or the environment that you work in is dangerous, you should install a Fall Protection Rail.

The construction world is a very complex and intense industry, filled with hazardous and dangerous environments, so because of this, it can be harder to identify if there is a need for a railing, or if it is just the environment they work in. So, there are a few exceptions when it comes to their regulations. This includes scaffolding, ladders, and steel erections, which have their own set of regulations. You can learn more about the OSHA standards for fall protection and the many different bylaws through the government website

Now that you have a better understanding of the OSHA fall protection laws, you may be wondering, “how can Ideal Shield help me here?”. Well, not only do we specialize in in-plant safety solutions, we have your rooftop safety solutions covered as well. 

The Ideal Solution

Ideal Shield has been a handrail manufacturer going on three decades and have worked with construction companies and general contractors all over the country to learn, develop, and perfect the safety railing offerings. That includes Roof Fall Protection Railing, which has to follow the strict OSHA standards above to meet code. 

Ideal Shield's Steel Pipe & Plastic Roof Fall Protection Safety Rail at a worksite.

Ideal Shield’s Steel Pipe & Plastic Roof Fall Protection Safety Rail at a worksite.

Ideal Shield's custom designed Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail with side mounts for edge protection in a facility.

Ideal Shield’s custom designed Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail for edge protection in a facility.

The Roof Fall Protection Railing from Ideal Shield meets all of the safety standards while also checking the boxes other companies may forget about. That includes the worker needs with the multiple install options including non-penetrating base plates for roof tops or side mounts for edge protection, the simple installation needs by shipping fully assembled modular sections to simplify the process, and the aesthetic needs with the color options to either standout on worksites or blend in at office or residential locations. 

Available in Steel Pipe & Plastic, or Aluminum, the Roof Fall Protection Railing is designed and fabricated by the Ideal Shield team in Detroit, Michigan using nothing but American-made material. The high quality materials and processes will ensure the safety rail lasts over the years and withstands harsh weather conditions no matter the location. 

Ideal Shield's Fall Protection Steel Pipe & Plastic Rail with side mounts

Ideal Shield’s Fall Protection Steel Pipe & Plastic Rail with side mounts.

Ideal Shield's Fall Protection Steel Pipe & Plastic Rail at truck entrance

Ideal Shield’s Fall Protection Steel Pipe & Plastic Rail at loading docks. 

Knowing the OSHA requirements is critical before adding roof fall protection safety solutions and Ideal Shield can help you meet those standards. Contact the experienced sales team today to learn more about our superior Roof Fall Protection Railing, and our line of Safety Handrail to figure out the best fit for your fall protection needs.