Guard railing may seem like an insignificant matter in an ocean of construction details. The home design, colour, furnishings, and such aspects related to appearances take prominence over safety measures. It is vital not to ignore the security aspects of a building.
Several accidents happening in Australia every year could have been avoided if everyone followed the safety guidelines. One should make sure not to cut corners when it comes to aspects like protection. Be it commercial edge protection or home guard railings, their presence in roofs is essential.
When it comes to choosing the appropriate guardrails, people get flustered due to the innumerable options. There are specific legal requirements to fulfil as well.
Here is a short guide to navigating this mire confusion to address some commonly asked questions.
1. Should roof guardrail be fitted on the edge of the roof always?
Not as a rule. It is generally considered an edge protection medium. And the most logical place to install it would be the edge of the roof. But the positioning of it should always be dictated by the individual requirements of each building.
It is best to position these around the perimeter of a roof. Such a setting would allow free access to the gutter system in case of maintenance and roof leaks. In some cases, it may not be possible to install it around the entire perimeter. In such scenarios, it is good to place the roof guardrail to allow access only in areas that require routine maintenance, like that of air conditioning units.
Requirements differ from one building to another. The safety of access methods also changes depending on the style of construction and type of access needed. A full risk assessment should be done by a qualified professional and if there are queries, seek an expert.
2. Should a guardrail be built to last permanently?
Determining this depends on factors like roof type, location, pitch, and the kind of access required.
The majority of situations require freestanding guardrails without a need to penetrate the building structure. Nevertheless, it should meet requirements like the load criteria. One installed with the correct standards in place will not move with human interaction.
3. Is there a legal height criterion?
Most guardrails made by sellers in Australia, suit a minimum height requirement. They measure at over 1100mm, although it differs depending upon the application.
4. Is folding guardrail permitted?
Collapsible or folding guardrails are available. And they suit buildings where the aesthetics need to remain undamaged. People can leave it up or fold it as they please.
It is safe to position them at a distance of 1m or more from the edge of the roof, and it leaves a safe demarcation area to raise the railings securely. Experts do not recommend installing it at the edge without any additional controls.
5. Should the guardrails be subject to inspections?
The answer to this question is yes. Fall or edge protection systems require inspection annually. Health safety and regulations require equipment maintenance and monitoring to be done regularly by a competent individual.
The frequency of inspections must be more frequent in the case of coastal areas and places with a harsh environment. Hurricane winds and battering rain can weaken the structural integrity of the railings.
Safety precautions exist for a reason, as they reduce the number of accidents. Falls and trips are among the most common accidents in Australia. To avert such incidents, a building or home should follow all necessary guidelines of safety.
Ester Adams is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.