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Start:Jul 04, 2020

Duration:5 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will increase the ability to apply Cal/OSHA safety standards for the construction industry.

Description: This Navitent will increase the successfulness of applying OSHA's safety standards. This information was taken from Cal/OSHA Pocket Guide f ... Read More

Summary: Safety Made Simple

Step 1

The next Steps cover Cal/OSHA safety regulations for Guardrails. Where appropriate, we have referenced the code from Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

The topics we will cover in this Navitent are:


After each of the next Steps, select the 'successful' response to indicate that you have read and understand the Step.

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Step 2


Guardrails must be installed at the open sides of all work surfaces that are 7 1/2 feet or higher above the ground, floor, or level underneath, or workers must be protected by other fall protection or, if justified, by a valid fall protection plan. 1621(a)

Step 3


-Railings shall be constructed of wood or in an equally substantial manner from other materials, and shall consist of the following:
a. A wooden top rail that is 42 inches to 45 inches high and that measures 2 inches x 4 inches or larger.
b. A mid-rail shall measure at least 1 inch x 6 inches and shall be placed halfway between the top rail and the floor when there is no wall or the parapet wall is less than 21 inches high.
c. Screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels or equivalent members, may be used in lieu of a mid-rail subject to the following:
1. Screens and mesh shall extend from the top rail to the floor and along the entire opening between top rail supports.
2. The gap between the intermediate vertical members shall not be greater than 19 inches.
3. Other intermediate members such as solid panels shall not have gaps more than 19 inches.
d. Wood posts shall be not less than 2 inches by 4 inches in cross section, spaced at 8 feet or closer intervals.
Note: use only “Selected Lumber” — free from damage that affects its strength for wood railings. Steel banding and plastic banding shall not be used as top rails or mid-rails.

-All railings and components shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 lbs. applied to the top rail within 2 inches of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction, at any point along the top edge

-Mid-rails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent members shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 150 lbs. applied in any downward or outward direction at any point

-The top rail or mid-rail on scaffolding platforms may be substituted by the X-braces (see the 'Scaffolds' isoBlog). 1644(a)(6)

-The ends of the rails shall not overhang the terminal posts, except where such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard. 1620(f)

-Railings shall be so surfaced as to prevent injury to an employee from punctures or lacerations and to prevent snagging of clothing. 1620(g)

Step 4


-Floor and roof openings:
a. Floor, roof, and skylights openings in any work surface must be guarded by railings and toeboards or by covers.
b. The cover must be able to support 400 lbs. or twice the weight of the employees, equipment, and material, and be securely fastened.
c. Covers must bear a sign with minimum 1 inch letters stating—OPENING—DO NOT REMOVE.
d. Employees within 6 fteet of any skylight shall be protected from falling through the skylight opening by any one of the following methods:
1. Guardrails.
2. Skylight screens.
3. Personal fall protection system.
4. Covers installed over the skylights.
5. Fall protection plan.
Exception: when the work is of short duration and exposure is limited.
e. Access to surfaces glazed with transparent or translucent materials are not permitted unless an engineer certifies that the surface will sustain all anticipated loads.

-Wall openings: Wall openings must be guarded if there is a drop of more than 4 feet and the bottom of the opening is less than 3 feet above the working surface

-Elevators: Guardrails are required for elevator shaft openings that are not enclosed or do not have cages

-Falsework: Guardrails are required as soon as falsework- supporting members are in place

-Demolition: Wall openings must be guard-railed during demolition except on the floor being demolished and on the ground floor

-Roofing operations: Provisions must be made during roofing operations to prevent workers from falling off roofs 20 feet or higher

-Skeleton steel building: A single 3/8-inch wire rope, in lieu of standard railing, may be used to guard openings and exposed edges of temporary floors or planking in skeleton steel buildings. The 3/8-inch wire rope must have a breaking strength of 13,500 lbs. (min.) and be placed at 42 inches to 45 inches above the finished floor

Step 5

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