Posted: 1 Jul '19

There Are Many Varieties of Guardrails and Handrails, Which one is Right for You?

Can you differentiate between a handrail and a guardrail? Often the two are used interchangeably. However, a guardrail is a barricade installed at the perimeter of a raised surface such as balconies or walkways. While a handrail is any horizontal or sloping railing especially on escalators or stairways on which you can grasp by the hand.

Both the guardrail and handrail installation whether on ramps, balconies or stairways, aims at arresting possible deadly falls keeping you safe. The two are either mounted on walls directly or supported by posts. There are many varieties of guardrails and handrails, which one is right for you?

The fitting of the guardrails and handrails should follow the structure of your building and the Occupational Health and Safety standards.

The Standard for Safe Guardrail and Handrail Installation

  • Handrailing grasp ability: handrails should be continuous without unnecessary interruptions for smooth sliding of the hand. A disruption at the newell post is however acceptable.
  • Strength: A loose or defective hand or guardrail, fails to meet the purpose of installation; instead it propagates more fall hazards. Therefore, the guardrail should be secure to mount.
  • Proper Construction and location: if the railing is firm but improperly placed or ill-sized and shaped, you may register more stair fall injuries than otherwise. The installation should comply with the height, continuity, location, accessibility and be free from barriers.

Varieties of guardrails and handrails

The guardrail and handrail installation results into different types based on location such as;

1.Install a horizontal guardrail along a flat raised surface such as a porch, deck, or balcony.

2.A handrail installed along the sides of a descending or ascending stairway. They offer safe grasping surface hence reducing fatal fall injuries, and if the stairway is open, your employees cannot fall on either side.

3.Temporal handrails and guardrails are those whose use doesn't fit your workplace, unlike residential homes.

Graspable and Non-Graspable Railings

Depending on how well the handrail and guardrail fit, you can term them as either graspable and non-graspable (unsafe) railings.

Graspable railings are those that meet the local building codes and are useful in fall protection. On the other hand, non-graspable railings are characteristic of broken, loose and defective. Non-graspable guardrail and handrail cause more harm than good since they contribute to more workplace fall hazards.

Why Guardrail and Handrail Installation Matters

  • Improperly fitted rails fail to arrest falls instead they magnify the severity of fall hazards
  • Apart from fall protection, well-fitted hand and guard rails offer aesthetic beauty

Call us now for your guardrail and handrail installation!

Regular hours MONDAY–FRIDAY
Canadian Society of Engineering Safety Alberta Construction Safety Association Canadian Safety Standards Training Alliance Canadian Safety Standards Training Alliance Canadian Safety Standards Training Alliance Canadian Safety Standards Training Alliance Canadian Safety Standards Training Alliance