University of South Florida


Lack of standard guardrail system use in place.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

This 10-feet high service platform on the side of the building is not properly guarded by a standard guardrail system.

Applicable OSHA standard:

According to CFR 1910.28(b)(1)(i), every open-sided floor or platform 4 feet or more above adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides except where there is entrance to a ramp, stairway, or fixed ladder. The railing shall be provided with a toeboard wherever there are workers beneath the open sides.

A standard railing shall consist of a top rail, intermediate rail, and posts and shall have a vertical height of 42 inches nominal from the upper surface of the top rail to the floor, platform, runway, or ramp level. The top rail shall be smooth-surfaced throughout the length of the railing. The intermediate rail shall be approximately halfway between the top rail and the floor, platform, runway, or ramp. The ends of the rails shall not overhang the terminal posts except where such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard.

Corrective actions: 

To prevent hazards in the workplace, it is important to implement a system of regular in-house safety inspections of all work practices, equipment, work processes, and worker-safe behavior to identify hazards, correct them in a timely manner, and, most importantly, prevent serious injuries. The effectiveness of regular self-inspections can improve with additional formal safety training and awareness training as new hazards are discovered.  Communicating the results of inspections to employees and allowing the safety committee or safety team members to perform regular facility inspections is a valuable tool to increase employee participation and employee awareness. For more information about workplace safety or to request USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program services, visit our website at or call us toll-free at (866) 273-1105.

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