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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 1. General Physical Conditions and Structures Orders
Article 2. Standard Specifications

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§3210. Guardrails at Elevated Locations.

(a) Buildings. Guardrails shall be provided on all open sides of unenclosed elevated work locations, such as: roof openings, open and glazed sides of landings, balconies or porches, platforms, runways, ramps, or working levels more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or other working areas of a building as defined in Section 3207 of the General Industry Safety Orders. Where overhead clearance prohibits installation of a 42-inch guardrail, a lower rail or rails shall be installed. The railing shall be provided with a toeboard where the platform, runway, or ramp is 6 feet or more above places where employees normally work or pass and the lack of a toeboard could create a hazard from falling tools, material, or equipment.

EXCEPTIONS:

1. Runways used exclusively for oiling, adjusting or otherwise maintaining shafting or other machinery may have the guardrail on the side adjacent to the machinery omitted provided that additional guarding as required by Group 6 Power Transmission Equipment, Prime Movers, Machines and Machine Parts is complied with.

2. Stationary elevated platforms secured to buildings or structures used exclusively for the service and maintenance of overhead bridge cranes and similar mobile equipment may be equipped with removable railings in lieu of guardrails on the side adjacent to the machinery provided such railings are secured against falling when they are not serving as a protective railing. In existing installations where clearance prohibits railings on the outside of the platform, railings will be permitted on the building side to serve as handholds.

3. Portions of loading or storage platforms which are used primarily for loading or unloading railroad cars or trucks, or at waterside edges used for cargo handling.

4. Open-sided platforms or floors used for storage of lumber or other materials may be guarded with movable single rails, sliding panels, gates or other barriers provided they are of strength and design equivalent to guardrails.

5. Open sides of storage platforms less than four feet wide, or portions thereof which are loaded and unloaded exclusively by means of stackers or lift trucks handling pallet supported loads.

6. Glazed sides that are in compliance with Section 3242.

7. Open hearth and hot metal pouring platforms.

8. Platforms, runways, ramps, or other working levels less than 4 feet above floor, ground, or other working level constructed prior to January 1, 1967.

9. Theatre galleries, balconies, or other such elevated seating locations, where a 42-inch railing would obstruct the sight lines, may be protected by a guardrail or other barrier of not less than 34 inches in height provided that a horizontal concave safety ledge not less than 6 inches in depth and not less than 36 inches in effective width is installed beyond the railing at the balcony floor level. The safety ledge shall be designed to carry a live load of 100 pounds per square foot.

10. On outside plaza, patio, and garden areas, alternate means of protection are acceptable if the same degree of safety is provided.

11. Elevated locations used infrequently by employees if the employees using them are protected by a fall restraint/fall arrest system used in accordance with the requirements in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

12. On fire hose drying towers, the top rail may be omitted on the inboard or working side of the platform if the hose drying fingers or hangers are spaced not more than 6 inches apart and extend the full length of the platform along the open or working side to within 6 inches of the end rails. The ends of the fingers or hangers shall be positioned at the same height as prescribed for the top rail and within 5 inches from the vertical projection of the platform edge.

13. On the auditorium side of a stage, raised platforms and other raised floor areas such as runways, ramps and side stages used for entertainment or presentation. At vertical openings in the performance area of stages.

(b) Other Elevated Locations. The unprotected sides of elevated work locations that are not buildings or building structures where an employee is exposed to a fall of 4 feet or more shall be provided with guardrails. Where overhead clearance prohibits installation of a 42-inch guardrail, a lower rail or rails shall be installed. The railing shall be provided with a toeboard where the platform, runway, or ramp is 6 feet or more above places where employees normally work or pass and the lack of a toeboard could create a hazard from falling tools, material, or equipment.

EXCEPTIONS:

1. Runways used exclusively for oiling, adjusting or otherwise maintaining shafting or other machinery may have the guardrail on the side adjacent to the machinery omitted provided that additional guarding as required by Group 6-Power Transmission Equipment, Prime Movers, Machines and Machine Parts is complied with.

2. Portions of loading or storage platforms which are placed or located next to railroad cars or trucks and used primarily for loading or unloading railroad cars or trucks, or at waterside edges used for cargo handling.

3. Open sides of storage platforms less than four feet wide, or portions thereof which are loaded and unloaded exclusively by means of stackers or lift trucks handling pallet supported loads.

4. Portable platforms, portable or fixed workstands, where used in close quarters which would make the installation of guardrails impracticable, may be provided with removable or hinged railings which can be either removed or swung out of the way during such work. Toeboards may not be required on portable or fixed platforms where the nature of the work requires the employees to sit on the edge of the platform.

5. Elevated locations used infrequently by employees if the employees using them are protected by a fall restraint/fall arrest system used in accordance with the requirements in Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.

6. Flumes when they are accessed by an employee for the purpose of conducting a flume patrol (as defined in Section 3207), and provided the employer implements either written administrative procedures or provides alternative means which will control the hazard of an employee fall off the flume.

7. Belt loaders or conveyors designed and used for access/egress to aircraft shall be equipped with at least one handrail that will furnish a handhold for anyone grasping it to avoid falling.

8. Working on or in aircraft wheel wells when the wheel well design does not permit the use of guardrails or other fall protection equipment/devices.

9. On mobile vehicles/equipment, where the design or work processes make guardrails impracticable, the use of sufficient steps and attached handholds or structural members which allow the user to have a secure hand grasp shall be permitted. Work from the decks, permanent/stationary platforms, runways, or walkways of mobile vehicles/equipment shall be excluded from the requirements of subsection (b) where it can be shown that guardrails or handholds are impracticable by the design or work processes.

10. Where design or erection, dismantling, inspection, repair, maintenance and adjustment processes make installation of guardrails impracticable on portable amusement rides, employees shall be provided and shall install and use personal fall protection equipment in accordance with the rquirements of Section 1670 of the Construction Safety Orders.

(c) Where the guardrail requirements of subsections (a) and (b) are impracticable due to machinery requirements or work processes, an alternate means of protecting employees from falling, such as personal fall protection systems, shall be used.

(d) Openings in guardrails for ladderway access shall be protected as required by Section 3212(a)(2) of the General Industry Safety Orders.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. Renumbering and amendment of former Section 3210 to Section 3207 and new Section 3210 filed 6-20-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 25). For history of former Section 3210, see Register 75, No. 10.

2. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).

3. New subsection (a)(12) filed 10-5-77; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 77, No. 41).

4. Amendment of subsection (a)(1), (a)(11), (a)(12) and new (a)(13) filed 7-26-78; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 78, No. 30).

5. Amendment filed 5-25-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 2). Approved by State Building Standards Commission 1-24-83.

6. Amendment filed 12-12-84; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 84, No. 50).

7. New subsection (a)14. and amendment of Note filed 6-7-96; operative 7-7-96 (Register 96, No. 23).

8. New subsection (a)14. and amendment of subsection (b) and Note filed 3-4-97; operative 4-3-97 (Register 97, No. 10).

9. Change without regulatory effect renumbering duplicate subsection (a)14. to new subsection (a)15. filed 3-7-97 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 97, No. 10).

10. Amendment of section heading and section filed 5-20-99; operative 6-19-99 (Register 99, No. 21).

11. Editorial correction of subsection (b) (Register 99, No. 25).

12. Amendment of subsection (a), new subsection (d) and amendment of Note filed 12-8-2004; operative 1-7-2005 (Register 2004, No. 50).

13. New EXCEPTION 10 to subsection (b) filed 1-24-2013; operative 4-1-2013 (Register 2013, No. 4).

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