Having the right safety guardrail system in place plays a very important role in the overall safety of your work site.
When it comes selecting an OSHA-compliant guardrail system, there are many options to choose from: temporary or permanent, custom or modular, and penetrating or non-penetrating. If you’re a little unclear on the differences between them and which system will serve you and your workers best, ask yourself the following questions prior to purchase.
Guardrail Systems: Temporary or Permanent?
In most situations, temporary guardrails are used for short-term construction protects, like a roof replacement. They are helpful for contractors who are frequently moving from one job to the next and want to bring the guardrails with them. Temporary systems can also helpful when working on large building complexes since they can be moved as work progresses. But there are many applications where the best permanent fall protection may actually be a temporary guardrail system.
Permanent systems are beneficial for situations where protection will be needed for a number of years or even the duration of the building. They are commonly installed on buildings that require regular rooftop maintenance such as for HVAC units or telecommunications equipment. To ensure workers’ safety, a permanent guardrail system is recommended for most any situation where they will be routinely accessing a roof.
Custom or Modular Safety Guardrails
Although a custom guardrail system may be the best solution for certain applications, good quality modular systems function just as effectively in most cases. They are also significantly less expensive and simpler to install. Many manufacturers are creating full lines of modular railing systems that can be configured to fit nearly any application. Not only are they extremely versatile but their also available in the wide range of finishes and styles.
A full modular system includes components for ladder access, roof hatch and skylight guarding, walkways, and parapet walls. These can be mixed and matched as needed to produce a complete fall protection system.
(Further details on penetrating or non-penetrating systems will be coming in a future post.)
Though there are many details to consider, choosing a guardrail system is one of biggest aspects of creating a safe work environment. Do you need further advice on choosing the best guardrail system for your particular workplace? Contact us via phone or our online form. Our safety specialists are always available to answer questions and assist with equipment choices.