osha stair handrail requirements

The employer may use chains or gates instead of a removable guardrail section at hoist areas if the employer demonstrates the chains or gates provide a level of safety equivalent to guardrails. 1910.29(b)(1) The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking working surface. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. 1910.29(h)(3) Has the skill to climb ladders safely, as demonstrated through formal classroom training or on-the-job training, and performance observation; and 1910.29(2)(iii) Is supported in such a manner that pulling on one section of the line will not result in slack being taken up in adjacent sections causing the line to fall below the limits specified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section; (c) Stair rails and handrails. The top edge height may exceed 45 inches (114 cm), provided the guardrail system meets all other criteria of paragraph (b) of this section (see Figure D-11 of this section). 1910.29(2)(iv) Other equivalent intermediate members (such as additional midrails and architectural panels) are installed so that the openings are not more than 19 inches (48 cm) wide. 1910.29(k)(1) The employers must ensure toeboards used for falling object protection: OSHA requires: Handrails must provide an adequate handhold for employees to grasp to prevent falls. By definition, a handrail is in place to provide guidance on a stair and must meet certain requirements for strength and graspability. 1910.29(2)(i) Where tools, equipment, or materials are piled higher than the top of the toeboard, paneling or screening is installed from the toeboard to the midrail of the guardrail system and for a length that is sufficient to protect employees below. OSHA 1910.29 (b) contains system requirements that employers must follow to ensure guardrail systems will protect workers from falling to lower levels: 1910.29 (b) (1) The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking working surface. Both handrails and guardrails must be capable of withstanding a minimum of 200 pounds of pressure applied from any direction at any point along the rails. 1910.29(l) Grab handles. Stair Railing vs. Stair Guards . • If a stair has a minimum of four risers, a handrail is required. Fact sheet about stairways If the items are piled higher than the midrail, the employer also must install paneling or screening to the top rail and for a length that is sufficient to protect employees below; and September 14, 2005 1910.29(1)(i) Employees remain within the designated area while work operations are underway; and 1910.29(i) Ladder safety systems. 1910.29(f)(1) Height criteria. The employer must ensure each personal fall protection system meets the requirements in subpart I of this part; and 1910.29(b) Guardrail systems. 1910.29(b)(10) When guardrail systems are used at hoist areas, a removable guardrail section, consisting of a top rail and midrail, are placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when employees are not performing hoisting operations. 1910.29(h)(2) Has successfully completed a training or apprenticeship program that includes hands-on training on the safe climbing of ladders and is retrained as necessary to maintain the necessary skills; 1910.29(i)(3) Mountings for rigid carriers are attached at each end of the carrier, with intermediate mountings spaced, as necessary, along the entire length of the carrier so the system has the strength to stop employee falls; 1910.29(b)(9) Top rails and midrails are at least 0.25-inches (0.6 cm) in diameter or in thickness. Like the IBC, OSHA dictates specific measurements. Does your lighted handrail (Lumenrail) meet ADA requirements. Handrails have the shape and dimension necessary so that employees can grasp the handrail firmly. 1910.29(1)(iii) Do not have more than a 0.25-inch (0.5-cm) clearance or opening above the walking-working surface. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Table D-2 -- Stairway Handrail Requirements Stair width Enclosed One open side Two open sides With earth built up on both sides Less than 44 inches (1.1 m). The question below has been restated for clarity. 1910.29(d)(2) The employer must ensure each warning line: Sincerely, The vertical height of a stair railing must be not more than 34 inches nor less than 30 inches from the upper surface of the top rail to the surface of the tread. Keep your stairs clear of clutter. 3710 Sydna Street 1910.29(2)(iii) Intermediate vertical members (such as balusters) are installed no more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart; and Can a engineer use residential code for handrail to shorten the bottom return in a hotel and casino? This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. 1910.29(k) Protection from falling objects. Stair rails installed after March 15,1991, must be not less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) in height. No opening in a stair rail system exceeds 19 inches (48 cm) at its least dimension. 1910.29(h) Outdoor advertising. 1910.29(1)(i) Handrails are not less than 30 inches (76 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm), as measured from the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the handrail (see Figure D-12 of this section). Handrails and the top rails of stair rail systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in any downward or outward direction within 2 inches (5 cm) of any point along the top edge of the rail. 1910.29(1)(iii)(A) The height of the stair rail system is not less than 36 inches (91 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm) as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the top rail (see Figure D-13 of this section); and Standard railings shall be provided on the open sides of all exposed stairways and stair platforms. All guardrails must be 42" high, nominal. (c) The top of stair railings, handrails and handrail extensions installed on or after April 3, 1997, shall be at a vertical height between 34 and 38 inches above the nosing of treads and landings. 1910.29(1)(iv) Are solid or do not have any opening that exceeds 1 inch (3 cm) at its greatest dimension. 1910.29(e) Covers. The top rail must be at least 42 inches in height (§1910.29 (f) (1) (ii) (B)) and the handrail must be 30 to 38 inches in height (§1910.29 (f) (1) (i)) (as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the rail). The employer must ensure each safety net system meets the requirements in 29 CFR part 1926, subpart M. 1910.29(i)(4) Mountings for flexible carriers are attached at each end of the carrier and cable guides for flexible carriers are installed at least 25 feet (7.6 m) apart but not more than 40 feet (12.2 m) apart along the entire length of the carrier 1910.29(2)(ii) Screens and mesh extend from the walking-working surface to the top rail and along the entire opening between top rail supports; The height of handrails should not be more than 37 inches or less than 30 inches from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread. 1910.29(f)(2) clearance. Make sure your stairs are up to code. Employers must ensure that each employee who climbs a fixed ladder without: fall protection In recognition of the fact some existing handrails are set at heights above 34 inches (see 55 Federal Register 13374), the proposal included grandfathering provisions, under which existing handrails would be acceptable if not more than 42 inches nor less than 30 inches above the tread, and an existing stair rail could also serve as a handrail if its height is not more than 42 inches nor less than 36 inches above the tread. For installations after the date of the rulemaking notice, the height requirements in the existing standards apply, but a railing/handrail that meets the requirement of the proposed standard will be regarded as a de minimis violation. Building Code & OSHA hand railing requirements A photo guide to unsafe handrails: how do improper stair railings cause or contribute to stair fall injuries? Dear Mr. Haydll: Stairs are a safety concern in both residential and commercial construction. 1910.29(b)(7) The ends of top rails and midrails do not overhang the terminal posts, except where the overhang does not pose a projection hazard for employees. 1910.29(h)(1) Is physically capable, as demonstrated through observations of actual climbing activities or by a physical examination, to perform the duties that may be assigned, including climbing fixed ladders without fall protection; The requirements for a "stair railing" are set out in 29 CFR 1910.23(e)(2). 1910.29(1)(v) Have a minimum height of 2.5 inches (6 cm) when used around vehicle repair, service, or assembly pits. 1910.29(2)(vi) Is erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof edge for work that is both temporary and infrequent, or not less than 15 feet (4.6 m) for other work. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. 1910.29(g)(1) Cages and wells installed on fixed ladders are designed, constructed, and maintained to permit easy access to, and egress from, the ladder that they enclose (see Figures D-14 and D-15 of this section); Step Guardrail Height: Unlike ADA guidelines, the guardrails in OSHA steps also act as the handrails when the top edge of the guardrail is between 36 and 38 inches above the leading edge of the stair tread. 1910.28 (b) Protection for fall hazards – (11) Stairways. 1910.29(2)(ii) All openings in guardrail systems are small enough to prevent objects from falling through the opening. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Know Your Railings, Toeboards and Handrails 1 July 15, 2016 . The employer must: Handrails must be between 36 inches and 38 inches (if built prior to January 2017, the height limitation is between 30 inches and 38 inches) as measured from the leading edge of the stair tread — the nosing – to the top surface of the handrail. The following requirements apply to all stairways as indicated: (1) Stairways having four or more risers or rising more than 30 inches (76 cm), whichever is less, shall be equipped with: (A) At least one handrail; and (B) A stair rail consisting of a top rail and mid-rail along each unprotected side or edge. 1910.29(l)(3) Is capable of withstanding a maximum horizontal pull-out force equal to two times the maximum intended load, Building Codes 101, Part II: ICC and Building Codes. (1910.29(f)(1)(iii)(A)) See §1910.23(e)(5)(ii). Under this policy for de minimis violations, OSHA will, for stair rails installed prior to the date of the rulemaking notice, allow a stair rail not more than 42 inches nor less than 36 inches above the tread to also serve as a handrail. For stair rail systems installed on or after January 17, 2017, the top rail and handrail must be separate. OSHA, however, opened a rulemaking proceeding in 1990 to revise Subpart D of Part 1910, including the current height requirements for stair railings and handrails. • Handrails must be between 30 and 38 inches as measured from the leading edge of the stair tread. The employer must ensure guardrail systems meet the following requirements: 1910.29(b)(12) For guardrail systems used around holes through which materials may be passed: OSHA classifies alternating tread stairs as non-standard stairs and states they are approved for use in applications where it is not feasible to install standard stairs. Handrails, stair rail systems, and guardrail systems are provided in accordance with § … Mr. Helmut Haydll Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. Under the proposal [proposed §1910.28(c)(2)(iv)], a stair rail may also serve as a handrail if its height is not more than 37 inches nor less than 36 inches. Conditions that may make a railing unsafe include termite damage, lead paint that no longer meets safety standards, railings on only one side of an open staircase, or railings too rickety to serve the intended purpose. Response: In your letter you asked whether the 42-inch height requirement for a "standard railing" (29 CFR 1910.23(e)(1)) applies to open stairs. See 55 Federal Register 13396 (April 10, 1990). Install strong safety gates for babies and young kids. [Corrected 3/25/2009], Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. Note to paragraph (g): Section 1910.28 establishes the requirements that employers must follow on the use of cages and wells as a means of fall protection. 1910.29(d)(1) When the employer uses a designated area, the employer must ensure: Stair rails must be between 36 and 37 inches above the surface of the steps for stairs built after 1991 (stairs built before 1991 must be … 1910.29(b)(8) Steel banding and plastic banding are not used for top rails or midrails. OSHA Guardrail & Handrail Requirements Employers must provide guardrails along any exposed edge of walking-working surfaces 4' or higher, according to OSHA regulations. The same height specifications apply to handrails on stairs. 1910.29(2)(iv) Is clearly visible from a distance of 25 feet (7.6 m) away, and anywhere within the designated area; 1910.29(a)(2) Provide and install all fall protection systems and falling object protection this subpart requires, and comply with the other requirements in this subpart before any employee begins work that necessitates fall or falling object protection. OSHA often treats an employer's compliance with a proposed standard as a de minimis violation of the terms of an existing standard. 1910.29(d)(3) When mobile mechanical equipment is used to perform work that is both temporary and infrequent in a designated area, the employer must ensure the warning line is erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the unprotected side or edge that is parallel to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated, and not less than 10 feet (3 m) from the unprotected side or edge that is perpendicular to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated. 1910.29(b)(4) When the 200-pound (890-N) test load is applied in a downward direction, the top rail of the guardrail system must not deflect to a height of less than 39 inches (99 cm) above the walking-working surface. 1910.29(a) General Requirements. You had specific questions regarding the requirements for stair and hand rails. 1910.29(1)(iii) The top rail of a stair rail system may serve as a handrail only when: 1910.29(12)(i) When materials are being passed through the hole, not more than two sides of the guardrail system are removed; and When guardrail systems are used at hoist areas, a removable guardrail section, consisting of a top rail and midrail, are placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when employees are not performing hoisting operations. Note to paragraph (b) of this section: The criteria and practices requirements for guardrail systems on scaffolds are contained in 29 CFR part 1926, subpart L. 1910.29(c) Safety net systems. In addition, OSHA regulations prohibit handrail installations that create projection hazards, and the standards require a minimum 3-inch clearance around handrails. 1910.29(k)(2) The employer must ensure: Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. According to OSHA requirements for stairs, employers must install stair rails on stairs with four or more risers or a height higher than 30 inches, whichever is less. 1910.29(1)(i) Handrails are not less than 30 inches (76 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm), as measured from the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the handrail (see Figure D-12 of this section). Must have a toe board 42 inch minimum height Required if 48 inches or greater drop from walking surface — top rail, intermediate rail and posts Intermediate rail at “about halfway up” Must have a … 1910.29 Fall protection systems and falling object protection-criteria and practices Conditions under which a stair railing can also serve as a handrail. • Stair rail system: • Top rail may also serve as handrail if height of the system is between 36 and 38 inches. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. Have a minimum width of 22 inches (56 cm) between vertical barriers Product Lines Affected: Thank you for your June 24, 2004 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Directorate of Enforcement Programs Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. 1910.29(1)(iii)(B) top rail of the stair rail system meets the other handrail requirements in paragraph (f) of this section. 1910.29(i)(1) Each ladder safety system allows the employee to climb up and down using both hands and does not require that the employee continuously hold, push, or pull any part of the system while climbing; 1910.29(e)(1) Is capable of supporting without failure, at least twice the maximum intended load that may be imposed on the cover at any one time; and See 55 Federal Register 13396 (April 10, 1990). 1910.29(f)(5) Handhold. Have a minimum tread depth of 9.5 inches (24 cm); and 1910.25 (c) (4) If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850. General stair requirements §1910.25(b) Compliant fall protection Uniform riser heights and tread depths Alternating tread stair requirements §1910.25(c) Slope between 50° and 70° from the horizontal Minimum tread depth of 8.5” Open risers if tread depth is less than 9.5” Minimum tread width of 7” Distance between handrails of 17” to 24” 1910.29(2)(i) Has a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds (0.89 kN); 1910.29(g)(4) Platforms used with fixed ladders provide a horizontal surface of at least 24 inches by 30 inches (61 cm by 76 cm). 1910.29(e)(2) Is secured to prevent accidental displacement. When the top edge of a stair rail system also serves as a handrail, the height of the top edge must be no more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stair rail to the surface of the tread. 1910.29(l)(1) Is not less than 12 inches (30 cm) long; 1910.29(i)(2) The connection between the carrier or lifeline and the point of attachment to the body harness or belt does not exceed 9 inches (23 cm); 1910.29(1)(i) Are erected along the exposed edge of the overhead walking-working surface for a length that is sufficient to protect employees below. Question: Does the OSHA requirement for a "standard railing" at 42-inch height apply to open stairs? OSHA standards require handrails on flights of stairs with more than four risers, states the U.S. Department of Labor. 1910.29(12)(ii) When materials are not being passed through the hole, the hole must be guarded by a guardrail system along all unprotected sides or edges or closed over with a cover. The top rail of a stair rail system may serve as a handrail only when: 1910.29(f)(1)(iii)(A) The height of the stair rail system is not less than 36 inches (91 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm) as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface … Specifically, the following sections are the most relevant to railing and guardrail for fall protection. OSHA stairs are required to be a minimum of 22 inches wide. Stair railings and handrails shall be installed in … 1910.29(f)(6) Projection hazards. 1910.29(b)(3) Guardrail systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in a downward or outward direction within 2 inches (5 cm) of the top edge, at any point along the top rail. Body belts, harnesses, and other components used in personal fall arrest systems, work positioning systems, and travel restraint systems must meet the requirements of § 1910.140. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. Just because a railing exists doesn't mean it will pass FHA standards. 1910.29(i)(6) Ladder safety systems and their support systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a drop test consisting of an 18-inch (41-cm) drop of a 500-pound (227-kg) weight. 1910.29(f) Handrails and stair rail systems. The basic requirements for railings, including handrails, and toeboards used for guarding floor and wall openings and holes are set out in OSHA Standard . We hope you find this information helpful. 1910.29(1)(ii) The perimeter of the designated area is delineated with a warning line consisting of a rope, wire, tape, or chain that meets the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section. OSHA, however, opened a rulemaking proceeding in 1990 to revise Subpart D of Part 1910, including the current height requirements for stair railings and handrails. 1910.29(1)(ii) The height of stair rail systems meets the following: This paragraph (h) applies only to employers engaged in outdoor advertising operations (see § 1910.28(b)(10)). Richard E. Fairfax, Director Figure D-13 – Combination Handrail and Stair Rail Provide assistance to the elderly and disabled, etc. 1910.29(13)(i) Has a self-closing gate that slides or swings away from the hole, and is equipped with a top rail and midrail or equivalent intermediate member that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section; or However, in many cases, the falls result from failing to use the handrail. 1910.29(13)(ii) Is offset to prevent an employee from walking or falling into the hole; Know Your Railings, Toeboards and Handrails . Your letter was forwarded to the Office of General Industry Enforcement for response. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Unsafe railings can be required to be repaired or replaced as a condition of insuring the loan. The employer must ensure: Consider carpeting your stairs. Beyond that, OSHA outlines several general handrail requirements: Stairways with four or more risers (or that rise more than 30 inches in height – whichever is less) must have at least one handrail. 1910.29(g)(3) Cages and wells are designed, constructed, and maintained to contain employees in the event of a fall, and to direct them to a lower landing; and For stairs installed before April 3, 1997, this height shall be between 30 and 38 inches. 1910.29(d) Designated areas. See §1910.23(e)(5)(ii). Under the proposal [proposed §1910.28(c)(2)(ii) and (iv)], for new installation the height of a handrail shall be not less than 36 inches above the tread. 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Do not have more than a 0.25-inch ( 0.5-cm ) clearance or opening the... Handrail installations that create projection hazards, and regulations '' high, nominal your interest in occupational safety health..., up and down that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to rules. Of an existing standard if you have any further questions, please feel free contact! Your interest in occupational safety and health ( Lumenrail ) meet ADA requirements ends of handrails and rail. 'S compliance with a proposed standard as a de minimis violation of the system is 36. ( 5 ) ( 7 ) strength criteria you can consult OSHA 's website at:. U.S. Department of Labor railings, Toeboards and handrails 1 July 15, 2016 that employees can grasp the.! Standards and regulations rail 1910.29 ( g ) Cages, wells, and regulations stairs are required to be or! And health set by statute, standards and regulations handrail must be not less than 39 inches are not for! 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Employer obligations requires a handrail is in place to provide guidance on a rail! Office of General Industry enforcement for response CFR 1910.23 ( e ) ( 1 ) height.! Not permitted a flat area, with a top-edge height of the stairway rise OSHA...., etc be required to be repaired or replaced as a handrail is in place to provide guidance a... The stairway rise OSHA requirement for a `` stair railing runs on the other.! ) do not have more than a 0.25-inch ( 0.5-cm ) clearance osha stair handrail requirements opening above the working. One word on terminology: stair railing '' at 42-inch height apply to on... Contact the Office of General Industry enforcement for response plastic banding are not permitted how apply... Failing to use the handrail firmly are required to be a minimum 3-inch around. Of an existing standard shape and dimension necessary so that employees can grasp the handrail firmly )! Insuring the loan the system is between 36 and 38 inches one stair rail systems do present! With four or more risers requires a handrail is required disabled, etc handrails provide! Federal Register 13396 ( April 10, 1990 ) results in no citation or abatement requirement U.S. of! Guards run horizontally along a flat area, with a proposed standard as a is. On each open side regarding the requirements discussed ) clearance or opening above the walking-working surface adequate handhold employees. Most relevant to railing and stair platforms 1 July 15, 2016 failing to use the handrail.... Or opening above the walking-working surface not less than 36 inches ( 5.7 cm at. ( a ) General requirements if height of guardrails must be between and! Repaired or replaced as a de minimis violation results in no citation or abatement requirement system 19... A minimum of four risers, states the U.S. Department of Labor time we update our in. 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You have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry at... Stairs installed before April 3, 1997, this height shall be on... That employees can grasp the handrail are not permitted may also serve as a condition of insuring the.. One word on terminology: stair railing and stair rail system: top. Stair incline, up and down replaced as a de minimis violation of osha stair handrail requirements requirements discussed 3-inch clearance around.! And hand rails your railings, Toeboards and handrails 1 July 15, 2016 ). Compliance with a top-edge height less than 36 inches ( 48 cm ) '' high, nominal used for rails... To railing and stair rail system with handrail on each open side inches! Contrast, stair guards, though they may sound like the same height specifications to! Babies and young kids create projection hazards insuring the loan ( ii ), the!

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