An initiative of Builders Mutual, with the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and the Job-Site Safety Institute as partners, the third annual Guardrail Safety Week runs Oct. 17-21. The week is a public awareness campaign on the effectiveness of properly installed guardrails to prevent fall injuries during the homebuilding process.

The campaign focuses on the various points during a residential construction project during which nearly all job sites have unprotected sides, edges, wall openings, or floor holes that pose a falling hazard to the workers and visitors moving around the site. It serves as a reminder that these openings and sides must be protected with guardrails or covers.

Before work begins, OSHA requires that employers provide fall protection where workers and visitors are exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more. Guardrails are one of three main ways to provide that fall protection. Builders can also deploy safety nets or provide personal fall arrest systems for each employee.

Many times, the nature and location of the work will dictate the form that fall protection takes. Common fall locations that should be considered for safety measures before beginning work include:

  • Window openings;
  • Stairways and landings;
  • Second-story entrances;
  • Exterior porches, decks, front steps;
  • Scaffolding;
  • Around the floor deck in the house (reassess these areas as you build each floor); and
  • Elevator shafts.
  • Resources from NAHB, such as the guardrail safety video toolbox talk and the fall protection toolkit, are available to help deploy these life-saving measures.

    For additional resources and to learn more about the week CLICK HERE.

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