Protect Your Construction Worksite with Guardrail Systems

Construction worksites can be very dangerous places. There are usually lots of pedestrian construction employees and operators with bulldozers, excavators, cranes, trucks, etc. that move about the site. Taking a few extra steps to protect employees, equipment, and construction worksite can make all the difference. Guardrail systems make for an excellent cost-effective solution.

Most people are familiar with a guardrail and have seen it on the shoulder of mountain roads, freeways, and expressways to keep drivers safe. This same rail can be used to protect your construction worksite, and eliminate or minimize damage related to fall, workplace accidents, and collisions.

Highway Guardrail
Guardrail System on the Highway

What are Guardrail Systems?

Guardrail systems are protective barriers erected along the open sides and ends of platforms. The rail system consists of a toprail, midrail, supports, and toeboards (where necessary). In situations where the platform is 10 feet or more above the ground/floor, the guardrails must be installed on platforms per the required standards.

Construction of Guardrail Systems

Guardrail is constructed out of steel and formed into the traditional rail shape. These rails typically come in a variety of sizes that can be custom fitted based on your needs. The rail is attached via mounting posts, or bollards, that are affixed to the concrete. Additionally, protective rail is quite easy to install and doesn’t require a general contractor or skilled craftsman.

Guardrail System
Guardrail System

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Guardrail System Specification

  • Guardrail Force – Guardrails should be able to withstand at least 200 pounds of force on the top rail and 100 pounds on the midrail.
  • Guardrail height – the height of the top rail must be between 38 inches and 45 inches
  • Crossbracing – when the crosspoint of crossbracing is used as top rail, it must be between 38  inches and 48 inches above the work platform.
  • Midrails – Midrails must be installed approximately halfway between the top rail and the platform surface. When the cross point of a cross bracing is used as a midrail, it must be between 20 inches and 30 inches above the work platform.

Guardrail System Painting

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Importance of a Guardrail System

Guard rail can be fitted to the specific needs of your structure, as it is available in a single rail or double rail height. Most people find increased benefits by placing the rail on scaffolds, as well as the inside and or outside perimeter of their buildings for fall protection.

Studies have shown that using guardrails can prevent deaths and injuries from falls, accidents, and collisions. If an accident does occur it is far more cost-efficient to replace or repair the guardrail versus repairing or replacing structures, equipment, walls, and anything else that may have been damaged. Guard rail is designed to be long-lasting and requires little to no maintenance.

Final Thoughts

The overarching goal with a guardrail is safeguarding from accidents and collisions. Guardrail systems must be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms. It should at least consist of toprails, midrails, and toeboards.

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