Warehouse Guard Rails
ENHANCE SAFETY AWARENESS WITH WAREHOUSE GUARD RAILS FROM MINER
GUARD RAIL USE AND OSHA SAFETY AWARENESS
- Loading docks
- Wall openings, such as chute entrances
- Ramps and runways
- Holes in walking surfaces, including roof skylights
- Top rail between 39 and 45 inches above the walking surface, though it may be taller if other requirements are met
- Panels, meshes, screens or other objects between the surface and the top rail unless there is a wall at least 21 inches high involved
- Midrails halfway between the top edge and the walking surface
- Openings of no more than 19 inches between protective members
- Ability to withstand 200 pounds of force within 2 inches of the top edge without failure
- Midrail panels and members that can withstand 150 pounds of force
- Smooth surfaces to protect against punctures, lacerations and snagged clothing
- No rail overhang of terminal posts if it would pose a risk
TYPES OF WAREHOUSE GUARD RAIL AND HAND RAIL SYSTEMS
- What they are: Rather than acting to keep people or objects away from open edges, hand rails are explicitly designed to offer support as individuals walk down a slope or a staircase.
- Unique requirements: As with guard rails, OSHA requires hand rails to resist 200 pounds of directly applied force. These rails must also have smooth surfaces and not project in a way that could cause injury. Since the purpose of a hand rail is to be held, these assets must be grasped. Hand rails on staircases are not the same as stair rails. While the latter guard against falls, hand rails are for holding on the way down or up. Staircases with at least four risers and three treads must have one hand rail, those wider than 44 inches must have two. If the staircase is wider than 88 inches, there must be a hand rail down the middle.
STAIR RAIL SYSTEMS
- What they are: Stair rails offer the same functionality as guard rails — ensuring there are not unguarded drops — and they are installed on the exposed sides of stairways. These safety barriers are installed in tandem with hand rails, to make sure staircases have both fall protection and support.
- Unique requirements: OSHA changed the requirements around stair rails effective at the beginning of 2018. While the previous minimum height was 30 inches from top rail to stair tread, that number is now 42 inches. The top rail of stair rails can no longer serve as a hand rail — if an asset is meant to combine stair rail and hand rail functionality, there must be a separate rail installed for people to hold, between 30 and 38 inches high. As with guard rails, stair rails should not have openings bigger than 19 inches, and they should withstand force of 200 pounds.
THE VALUE OF GUARD RAIL MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP
The need to stop equipment failures whenever possible is a strong incentive to invest in proactive maintenance and inspections for all assets within the warehouse. The integrity of your guard rail system should be verified often by experts, rather than taking the chance of finding a problem during an OSHA inspection — or because an asset failed.
Warehouse guard rails cannot be a “set and forget” solution that are installed and not thought of again. Fortunately, facility partners such as MINER can assist at every step of the equipment life cycle, from initial selection to ongoing maintenance.
GUARD RAIL SERVICES OFFERED BY MINER
When you work with a trusted consulting, installation, maintenance and repair organization, you can manage your facility confidently, knowing your assets are in good hands. This is the value MINER offers, affecting all warehouse equipment. When dealing with an asset as important as guard rail systems, it’s especially vital to have experts on your side.
COMBINING GUARD RAILS AND OTHER SAFETY AWARENESS ASSETS
While guard rail systems are a required and useful part of your warehouse safety awareness program, it’s important to remember that there are other pieces of equipment to focus on. The following are a few of the other top systems to consider:
- Floor striping and textured surfaces: These design elements are intended to help employees with spatial awareness while working on the loading dock and warehouse floor. Bright tape marks or painted designs, potentially paired with warning textures can help employees know when they are approaching a staircase or edge of the loading dock on foot or in a forklift.
- Truck restraint systems: On the loading dock, vehicles pose a special risk. To limit the risk of an avoidable roll-away incident, you should install and maintain vehicle restraint assets.
- Control panels: When supervisors know the status of assets such as warehouse doors and truck restraints, they can help the whole team stay aware of potential risk. This high-level view comes from connecting powered assets to a centralized control panel.
When combining assets such as these with responsibly deployed and actively maintained industrial safety railings, it’s easier to inspire confidence in your employees that you take their well-being seriously.
SELECTING, INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING EQUIPMENT
MINER’s experts are available whenever in the equipment upkeep process you need them. This can mean consulting assistance to assess your current assets and select new hardware from top vendors. It may also involve professional installation, to ensure the warehouse equipment is sound from the beginning.
Over time, proactive maintenance can be the key to ensuring every asset is delivering a maximized life span and optimized total cost of ownership. An ideal program involves frequent assessments of every asset, determining suitability, age and condition to create a hierarchy of repair urgency. With a program designed in tandem with MINER experts, you get ideal performance from essential equipment such as your guard rail system.
While proactive maintenance is intended to minimize material handling equipment downtime, sometimes emergency repairs are necessary. MINER assists with this part of the process as well, dispatching trained technicians carrying the right tools and parts to get your facility running again quickly.
Safety awareness and overall efficiency in your warehouse depend on the status of your equipment. By partnering with your organization, MINER delivers the reliability you need.