Guardrails are required to prevent fall hazards on raised walking surfaces where there is a drop off on the side(s) of the walkway surface of 30” from the floor or grade below. Raised walking surfaces can include balconies, stairs, ramps, decks, rooftops, and retaining walls. If a guardrail is required, it must be at least 30” in height.

If a guardrail is installed as required, it must be secure and free from damage. The fasteners and other components of the guardrail should be inspected to determine that they are intact and free from movement and damage. To properly inspect the guardrail, the guardrail should be grabbed and force applied to each section, pushing and pulling rapidly to determine if there is movement at the guardrail anchor or fastener.

Guardrails should be installed for elevated walkways used by the general public and wherever guardrails were previously installed. Secure roof areas are not required to have guardrails if they have never been installed previously and the area has restricted access. If the roof is readily accessible to the public, guardrails will be required.

Def# Deficiency Severity Repair Due HCV Rating
1 Guardrail is missing on an elevated (30in. or more) walking surface Life Threatening 24 Hours Fail
2 Guardrail is damaged Life Threatening 24 Hours Fail
2 Guardrail is less than 30in. Life Threatening 24 Hours Fail
2 Guardrail not secure and cannot protect from falling Life Threatening 24 Hours Fail
2 Guardrail is missing a functional component Life Threatening 24 Hours Fail

Guardrail Standard V3.0 Updated 8/11/23

Revision: 22
Last modified: 9 December 2023


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