When working at height; the industry standard to prevent falls first and foremost is to have a fall restraint system in place. The reason why this is agreed as the best way to achieve fall safety is that it keeps workers away from potential hazards by making them inaccessible. One highly used component of any compliant fall restrain system are guard rails and hand rails.
While many people assume that a guard rails and hand rails are kind of the same thing; they are actually different by definition.
A hand rail is made available for people to hold onto while they walk along a platform, walkway, ladder or stairway. In essence; a handrail’s main purpose is to help the operator maintain balance and stability – which in turn lowers the risk of them slipping over all falling.
In comparison; a guard rail is put in place to prevent an operator from falling off the edge of a platform, walkway or landing that they’re using. They’re also designed to be able to take the impact of someone falling or pushing against the guard rail.
Now the main reason that the two terms are commonly interchanged by people is that they can actually be combined into the one safety structure. While each building or height safety project is different – it’s more than likely there will always be a combination of the two.
An example of where this may occur is if a set of stairs has an open edge to one side. Therefore a guard rail legally needs to be there to prevent falls by creating a barrier between a person and the hazard. However a hand rail is placed on top in that situation so that people have something to hold onto while they ascend or descend the stairs safely.
It’s recommended that any building or work site that has working at height aspects contact a professional height safety company. The reason for this being that there is a lot of red tape and legalities associated with not only height safety; but worksite safety as a whole.
Essential Height Safety are Australia’s number one height safety company. Providing a wide range of roof safety solutions, audit and certification services. To ensure compliance to all Australian related codes of practice, legislation and standards. Essential Height Safety only uses materials that are designed, engineered, certified and manufactured in Australia – which keeps trade jobs in Australia as a result.
We’ve built a team of highly skilled, accredited, certified installers that are all our own employees – you can rest assured we don’t sub-contract any of our work. This ensures not only is your building is up to code, but your employees and contractors have a largely reduced risk of injury when they need to work at height.
Keep Workers Safe
Ensure regulatory compliance
If you allow workers Roof Access to your building, you have a legal obligation to comply with all Australian Standards and regulations around Height Safety, Fall Protection and Fall Arrest. To ensure the Height Safety of your workers and the legal compliance for your business, contact the trained and accredited experts today for an obligation free consultation.
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