Handrails are part of a fall protection plan. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. If they are placed up against a wall they should have a clearance from the wall not less than 1-½ inches. Refer to the OSHA webpage, www.osha.gov for additional information and guidance on this subject General. Metal pan landings and metal pan treads, when used, shall be secured in place before filling with concrete or other material. Where fall from height is significant it is recommended to increase the height of the guardrail to at least 1000 mm. Vertical balusters must be placed no more than 19 inches apart. It is not sufficient to follow the letter of the OSHA standard. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements in the U.S., the majority of stair handrails must be between 30 and 37 inches in height. Height of Guard Rails The top edge of the guard rails must be between 39 and 45 inches above the walking area, taking account of all circumstances. Handrails that will not be a permanent part of the structure being built shall have a minimum clearance of 3 inches (8 cm] between the handrail and walls, stairrail systems, and other objects. October 28, 2004 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). The building code file number for this information is 1926.1052. As explained in the preamble to the proposed standard (Volume 51 of the Federal Register, Nov. 25, 1986, page 42754), in setting the height limit for stair rails, OSHA relied on a study by the University of Michigan: While you referenced both General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910) and Construction Industry (Part 1926) provisions, this letter addresses only the standards applicable to the construction industry. Employers must provide guardrails along any exposed edge of walking-working surfaces 4' or higher, according to OSHA regulations. 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. ADA-Compliant Handrail Height. For more information, see Section R311.7 of the 2015 International Residential Code for a more in-depth look at stair requirements. 30 CFR 77.205. OSHA also requires a top rail at 42” above the working working surface, but allows for some flexibility of +/- 3 inches from the 42”. The employer must ensure: 1910.29(f)(1) Height criteria. These standards apply to most but not all stair applications. OSHA states that guardrail must reach a height of 42 inches, plus or minus 3 inches, above the walking-working surface and withstand a force of 200 pounds at any point in a downward or outward direction. OSHA catwalk standards state that a work platform’s height cannot be more than four times its base width. OSHA regulations require that handrails include a top rail and intermediate rail, and the top rail must be designed to allow for a firm grip, states the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA guidelines for handrails and guardrails (though OSHA refers to both as “guardrails”) are critical in reducing the risk of falls and other injuries. A handrail must be between 865mm and 1070mm (34 and 42 inches) above the nosing. If an operator steps up on the rails or toe boards the operator will not have proper handrail height for their body. Handrails must be 30–38" above the leading edge of the stair tread. ...[A] study by the University of Michigan (Ex. Ramps that measure more than 6 feet above lower levels (areas below the level at which a worker is working and could fall) should be equipped with guardrail systems. OSHA 1910.23(d)(1) Every flight of stairs having four or more risers shall be equipped with standard stair railings or standard handrails as specified in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (v) of this section. A handrail must be between 865mm and 1070mm (34 and 42 inches) above the nosing. Handrails shall provide an adequate handhold for employees grasping them to avoid falling. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Mesh screens must cover the entire length of the structure and reach from the top of the handrail to the top of the stair tread. The following requirements apply to all stairways as indicated: Except during stairway construction, foot traffic is prohibited on stairways with pan stairs where the treads and/or landings are to be filled in with concrete or other material at a later date, unless the stairs are temporarily fitted with wood or other solid material at least to the top edge of each pan. Treads for temporary service shall be made of wood or other solid material, and shall be installed the full width and depth of the stair. Handrails on stairways cannot be any more than 37 inches high, nor can they be less than 30 inches from the upper surface to the tread surface, in line with the riser face at the tread’s forward edge. Height of Handrail Pitch Line of Stair Stringer Single Ball X X Top Handrail Raked X Base Height of Standard Floor Level Load Table: The table below shows the spacing of various type of 1100 mm high handrail standards to achieve required loadings for various codes of practice. 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. IBC Guardrail Height Requirements. In the U.S., the I-Codes require handrail placed between 34 and 38 inches. Per OSHA 1910.23(e)(1) A standard railing shall consist of top rail, intermediate rail, and posts, and shall have a vertical height of 42 inches nominal from upper surface of top rail to floor, platform, runway, or ramp level. Handrail Height. OSHA has revised paragraph (c)(7) to indicate clearly that stairrails that comply with its terms may also be used as handrails. The measurement is from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, which is in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. 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. Maximum height is 38 inches. Oregon OSHA requires handrails around any open-sided stairways, floors, platforms or other surfaces more than 4 feet above the ground. Temporary handrails must have a minimum clearance of 3 inches (8 cm) between the handrail and walls, stair rail systems and other objects. As you can see, there are various OSHA guardrail provisions detailing when guardrails and railings should be used and how they should be constructed. If you are working with alternating tread devices or ship ladders, you should measure above the tread nosings. So the handrail should incline at the same rate as the stairs or ramp. Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, or equivalent intermediate structural members, shall be provided between the top rail of the stairrail system and the stairway steps. The general industry standards you cited, §§1910.23(e)(1) and 1910.24(h), do not apply to construction work; we have forwarded your letter to the Office of General Industry Enforcement for a response regarding those provisions. The height is measured vertically from the line connecting the nosing. Stairs leading up to catwalks and elevated platforms must be at least 16 inches wide, 7 inches deep and have no more than 10 inches of rise between each step. Mr. Helmut Haydl Screens or mesh, when used, shall extend from the top rail to the stairway step, and along the entire opening between top rail supports. Handrail Height. The following requirements apply to all stairways as indicated: Stairways having four or more risers or rising more than 30 inches (76 cm), whichever is less, shall be equipped with: Winding and spiral stairways shall be equipped with a handrail offset sufficiently to prevent walking on those portions of the stairways where the tread width is less than 6 inches (15 cm). OSHA standard 1910.24 for the safe design and construction of fixed general industrial stairs. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. We apologize for the delay in providing a response. Stairs shall be installed between 30 deg. Russell B. Swanson, Director 2. Stairs leading up to catwalks and elevated platforms must be at least 16 inches wide, 7 inches deep and have no more than 10 inches of rise between each step. If you need additional information, please contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Directorate of Construction, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance, fax # 202-693-1689. When intermediate vertical members, such as balusters, are used between posts, they shall be not more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart. Like guardrails, OSHA regulations provide specific handrail and stair rail requirements. As for guards along a set of stairs that serve as a handrail as well, they are allowed to be at a height of no less than 34 inches but no more than 38 inches. compliant with new OSHA Regulations 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D ... handrail: A single bar or pipe supported on brackets from a wall or partition to provide a continuous handhold for persons using a stair stair railing: A vertical barrier erected along exposed sides of a stairway to prevent falls of persons . My question is has OSHA ever defined "nominal" for a range when dealing with the top handrail. (6) The height of handrails shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. Paragraph (c)(6) requires that handrails be between 30 inches and 37 inches in height throughout the length of the stairway... Paragraph (c)(7) allows any stairrail system between 36 and 37 inches in height to double as a handrail. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. This is in response to your letter of June 24, 2004 regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for heights for stair rails and handrails and corresponding building code requirements. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail. See enclosed Figure 2 for an example of a stair rail system installed after January 17, 2017. One of the more popular fall protection questions we receive relates to OSHA requirements for safety railing and guardrail systems. Midrails, when used, shall be located at a height midway between the top edge of the stairrail system and the stairway steps. Where doors or gates open directly on a stairway, a platform shall be provided, and the swing of the door shall not reduce the effective width of the platform to less than 20 inches (51 cm). OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Other structural members, when used, shall be installed such that there are no openings in the stairrail system that are more than 19 inches (48 cm) wide. All parts of stairways shall be free of hazardous projections, such as protruding nails. Handrails should be no less than 34 inches above the stair or ramp and no more than 38 inches above. If an operator steps up on the rails or toe boards the operator will not have proper handrail height for their body. [1910.23(e)(5)(ii)] • The size of handrails shall be: When of hardwood, at least 2 inches in diameter; when of metal pipe, at least 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Stairways with four or more risers, or that rise more than 30 inches (76 cm) in height- whichever is less- must have at least one handrail. RE: Handrail Extensions per OSHA Bagman2524 (Structural) 30 Mar 10 10:37 This looks to me like you need a 42" high guardrail where your sketch shows the extension; and the sides ladder B down needs to extend above the plate by at least 42"; and you need a … Directorate of Construction, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. The different height requirements reflect different purposes. 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. If the railing dips below 39 inches, due to the force, the railing is not OSHA compliant. Handrails have a different height requirement than guardrails. OSHA Codes It is always important to follow your local building codes when constructing interior handrails. OSHA Stairway and Handrail Regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many regulations regarding stairs, stair railings and handrails. When it comes to handrails in commercial buildings, always work with an ADA-compliant handrail company, and make sure to install the set according to ADA height codes. Handrails and the top rails of stairrail systems shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 n) applied within 2 inches (5 cm) of the top edge, in any downward or outward direction, at any point along the top edge. This is measured from the top surface of the handrail. 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). Handrails should be between 30 and 37 inches above the step surface, with a clearance of at least three inches between the rail and the wall. And yet there’s more provisions for railing safety. Fall protection requirements for handrail systems require a minimum height of 42”, plus or minus 3”. Page 5 of 6. edge. There were no comments on paragraph (c)(7). Answer: Section 1926.1052 (Stairways) states: Under these provisions, while construction work is being performed, a separate handrail must be provided if the top rail of a stairway system exceeds 37 inches. 1910.29(f) Handrails and stair rail systems. Handrails are required on all stairs that have three steps or more or ramps with a rise of 6 inches and above. 29CFR 1910 Subpart D – Walking-Working Surfaces 1910.25 Stairways The following provides some of the applicable definitions, in addition to, a brief checklist which provides guidance and information relating to OSHA’s recent Final Rule; 1910 Subpart D – Walking Working Surfaces. Such temporary treads and landings shall be replaced when worn below the level of the top edge of the pan. Crossovers, elevated walkways, elevated ramps, and stairways shall be of substantial construction, provided with handrails, and maintained in good condition. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23 includes requirements for ladders, when handrails are required on platforms and how high safety railings must be. Handrail Height. Guardrails do not have a height limitation, except for when they serve as a handrail in addition to a guardrail. However, if you have to comply with OSHA standards, chances are that you have to comply with ADA standards as well. (6) The height of handrails shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. Railings along floors or ramps must be 42 inches high and must include a top rail and intermediate rail. Download the OSHA cheatsheet. Question: Under the construction standards, can a 42-inch-high top rail for a stairway also serve as a handrail, or must a handrail also be provided? All ErectaStep stairs comply with OSHA standard 1910.25 which covers all stairways including standard, spiral, ship, and alternating tread-type stairs. Regulations established by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, require that stairways with four or more steps, or that rise more than 30 inches, need at least one handrail. Variations in riser height or tread depth shall not be over 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) in any stairway system. Since the top rail you refer to is 42 inches, a separate stair rail would be required. Handrails are rails that provide a handhold for support. The different height requirements reflect different purposes. Stairrails and handrails. The height of handrails shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. OSHA 1910.23(e)(1)(vi): The maximum work-surface height of mobile ladder stands and platforms does not exceed four times the shortest base dimension, without additional support. ... Stair railings and handrails shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of 1910.23. A finger clearance of 2 … For example, a platform that is 6 feet wide cannot be elevated more than 24 feet. As for their height they can be placed within 34 to 38 inches and shall be provided on at least one side of a flight of stairs having four for more risers. Sincerely, (c)(6) The height of handrails shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. Top rail and handrail requirements for stairrail systems under the construction standards. • The height of handrails shall be not more than 34 inches nor less than 30 inches from upper surface of handrail to surface of tread in line with face of riser or to surface of ramp. While you referenced both General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910) and Construction Industry (Part 1926) provisions, this letter addresses only the standards applicable to the construction industry. Risers & Tread – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 | IBC stair width 50 | OSHA stair maximum riser height 70 | OSHA stair riser height 70 Stair Width – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 Railings and Guardrails – OSHA handrail requirements 390 | IBC handrail 320 Balusters – OSHA 1910.29(b)(2)(iii) Post navigation. • The height of handrails shall be not more than 34 inches nor less than 30 inches from upper surface of handrail to surface of tread in line with face of riser or to surface of ramp. It should be placed between 30 and 37 inches above the surface of the stair tread. Ramps are covered under OSHA guidelines 1926.451 and the general requirements mandated under sub section (e) (5). (6) The height of handrails shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. If the stair rail is too high, a worker is less likely to be able to reach and grab it if he/she begins to trip. Riser height and tread depth shall be uniform within each flight of stairs, including any foundation structure used as one or more treads of the stairs. 1910.29 (1) (ii) The height of stair rail systems meets the following: OSHA Railing requirements for Standard Railing (noted as “Guard” in building codes) : 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” 30 CFR 56.11002 and 57.11002. The following requirements apply to all stairways as indicated: Stairways that will not be a permanent part of the structure on which construction work is being performed shall have landings of not less than 30 inches (76 cm) in the direction of travel and extend at least 22 inches (56 cm) in width at every 12 feet (3.7 m) or less of vertical rise. OSHA requirements for stairs also dictate that any spiral stair must have a handrail. If a guardrail or handrail run is 50 lineal feet in length, that system must be able to withstand 2,500 pounds of force (50lbs/ft x 50 ft run = 2,500 lbs). OSHA guardrail Height Requirements. In the U.S., the I-Codes require handrail placed between 34 and 38 inches. OSHA Requirements for Handrail Height Stairway Handrails. Where circular metal handrails are provided, external diameter shall be 30mm to … One of the more popular fall protection questions we receive relates to OSHA requirements for safety railing and guardrail systems. Handrails must provide an adequate handhold for employees to grasp to prevent falls. 3-6:43) indicates that 33 inches is the optimum height for handrails, and that a variance from this height of plus-or-minus 3 inches is appropriate. Handrails are a specifically designed for people to hold onto for support, rather than just providing a barrier. The purpose of the stair rail is to provide a hand-hold for workers to use if they trip on the stair. For stair rails being used as a handrail or separately installed handrails, OSHA requires an installed height of at least 36 inches, but no more than 37 inches. Since the top rail you refer to is 42 inches, a separate stair rail would be required. 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. I have been searching for the maximum clearance above the finished floor which a platform may be before it requires handrails. Most of these are covered in the 1910.24 and 1910.23 standards for general industrial areas. 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. Height: Minimum handrail height is 30 inches. Dear Mr. Haydl: RE: Handrail Extensions per OSHA Bagman2524 (Structural) 30 Mar 10 10:37 This looks to me like you need a 42" high guardrail where your sketch shows the extension; and the sides ladder B down needs to extend above the plate by at least 42"; and you … Note: When the top edge of a stairrail system also serves as a handrail, paragraph (c)(7) of this section applies. Except during stairway construction, foot traffic is prohibited on skeleton metal stairs where permanent treads and/or landings are to be installed at a later date, unless the stairs are fitted with secured temporary treads and landings long enough to cover the entire tread and/or landing area. 1926.1052 (c) (7) from horizontal. The height of stairrails shall be as follows: Stairrails installed after March 15, 1991, shall be not less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stairrail system to the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Stair Rail Height. 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 … All stairways with at least four risers must have standard handrails or standard stair railings. One stairrail system along each unprotected side or edge. Stairrail systems and handrails shall be so surfaced as to prevent injury to employees from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothing. Handrails are required when there is a top step height of 4 feet or more and a railing needs to be 29.5 inches for stands with a top height of 4 feet or more, 36 inches for stands with a top step of 10 feet or more. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23includes requirements for ladders, when handrails are required on platforms and how high safety railings must be. OSHA NBC (Canada) Residential: Commercial General Where children are primary users (recommended, not required) General Stair Rail System: Residential: Commercial: Handrail Height: 34″ to 38″ 34″ to 38″ 28″ with a minimum of 9″ clearance between the child and adult handrail 30″ … 56/57.11002. New OSHA handrail/guardrail requirements have come into effect on Jan 17 of this year. The purpose of the top rail is to prevent workers from falling off the stairway. As per standard 1910.28(b)(15) , for instance, employees working on surfaces 4 feet or more off the ground must be protected by handrails, safety net systems, or personal fall protection systems. OSHA catwalk standards state that a work platform’s height cannot be more than four times its base width. Stair rails that have been installed prior to March 15, 1991 should be at least 36 inches in height. How does one design/build a stair with the required guard heights of 42" and handrail heights of 34"-38" per NFPA-101 and IBC; and still meet the OSHA Stair Rail height requirement/range. Guardrail system criteria are contained in subpart M of this part. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. Under 1910.23 (e) (1), OSHA says that a guardrail must have a vertical height of 42 inches nominal from the upper surface of the top rail to floor, platform, runway, or ramp level. Bethlehem, PA 18107 For example, a platform that is 6 feet wide cannot be elevated more than 24 feet. Slippery conditions on stairways shall be eliminated before the stairways are used to reach other levels. This is exception 2. Re: Stair rail and hand rail heights; §1926.1052(c)(6) and 1926.1052(c)(7) The general industry standards you cited, §§1910.23(e)(1) and 1910.24(h), do not apply to construction work; we have forwarded your letter to the Office of General Industry Enforcement for a response regarding those provisions. Handrails should have a contour that offers a handhold and should be able to withstand 200 pounds of weight applied within two inches of the top edge in any direction. Unprotected sides and edges of stairway landings shall be provided with guardrail systems. 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