Vehicle curbs, bull rails, or other effective barriers at least six inches (15.24 cm) in height shall
be provided at the waterside edges of aprons and bulkheads, except where vehicles are prohibited. Curbs or bull rails installed after October 3, 1983, shall be at
least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height.
The provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section also apply at the edge of any fixed level above
the common floor area from which vehicles may fall, except at loading docks, platforms and skids where cargo is moved by vehicles.
Guardrails shall be provided at locations where employees are exposed to floor or wall openings or
waterside edges, including bridges or gangway-like structures leading to pilings or vessel mooring or berthing installations, which present a hazard
of falling more than 4 feet (1.22 m) or into the water, except as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
Guardrails are not required:
At loading platforms and docks;
At waterside edges used for cargo handling;
On the working sides of work platforms, skids or similar workplaces; or
On railroad rolling stock, highway vehicles, intermodal containers or similar
Where guardrails are impracticable due to machinery requirements or work processes, an alternate
means of protecting employees from falling, such as nets, shall be used.
Criteria for guardrails. Guardrails shall meet the following criteria:
They shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in any
direction at mid-span of the top rail (when used), or at the uppermost point if there is no top rail.
If not of solid baluster, grillwork, slatted or similar construction, guardrails shall consist of
top rails and midrails. Midrails, when used, shall be positioned at approximately half the height of the top rail.
The top surface of guardrails installed before October 3, 1983,
shall be at least 36 inches (0.91 m) high. Those installed after
October 3, 1983, shall be 42 inches (1.07 m), plus or minus 2 inches
(5.1 cm), high.
Any non-rigid railing such as chain or wire rope shall have a
maximum sag limit at the mid-point between posts of not more than 6
inches (15.24 cm).
Top rails shall be free of puncture and laceration hazards.
Rail ends shall not overhang to constitute a hazard, but this does not prohibit scrollwork, boxed
ends or similar non-hazardous projections.
Toeboards. Toeboards shall be provided when employees below
could be exposed to falling objects such as tools. Toeboards shall be
at least 3½ inches (8.9 cm) in height from top edge to floor level,
and be capable of withstanding a force of 50 pounds (222 N) applied in
any direction. Drainage clearance under toeboards is permitted.
Stair railings shall be capable of withstanding
a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in any direction, and
shall not be more than 36 inches (0.91 m) nor less than 32 inches (0.81
m) in height from the upper top rail surface to the tread surface in
line with the leading edge of the tread. Railings and midrails shall be
provided at any stairway having four or more risers, as follows:
For stairways less than 44 inches (1.12 m) wide, at least one railing; and
For stairways more than 44 inches (1.12 m) but less than 88 inches (2.24 m) wide, a stair rail or
handrail on each side, and if 88 or more inches wide, an additional intermediate handrail.
Condition. Railings shall be maintained free of sharp edges and in good repair.
[62 FR 40141, July 25, 1997; 65 FR 40941, June 30, 2000]