Section 26, subsection 5 states,
“A guardrail system shall be capable of resisting anywhere along the length of the system the following loads when applied separately, without exceeding the allowable unit stress of each material used:
1. A point load of 675 newtons applied in a lateral direction to the top rail;
2. A point load of 450 newtons applied in a vertical downward direction to the top rail;
3. A point load of 450 newtons applied in a lateral or vertical downward direction to the intermediate rail, or midway between the top rail and the toe board; and
4. A point load of 225 newtons applied in a lateral direction to the toe board.
Section 26, subsection 6 states,
“The distance between any two adjacent posts of the guardrail system may be greater than 2.4 metres only if the system is capable of resisting the loads specified in subsection 5 increased in proportion to the greater distance between the posts.”
I am preparing to teach a class in ‘Fall Protection’ this morning for a few roofers and the information here provides much of the ‘Fall Prevention’ examples especially dealing with the guardrail systems.
The conversion chart for the metric measurements above are listed below;
1) 675 newtons = 152 foot pounds
2) 450 newtons = 100 foot pounds
3) 225 newtons = 50 foot pounds
4) 2.4 metres = 8 feet
The conversion is approximate similar to 3 metres equaling 10 feet. (3 inches short)
It is not enough to build guard rails but they must be built properly, to the right dimensions and to the appropriate strength requirements. An employer needs to know all of this information prior to any project underway. The employees need to be trained in Fall Protection so they can identify fall hazards even if the supervisor and employer do not.
Would you cut corners on the railing systems for your raised deck at home? No? Then why would an employer not investigate and build the guardrails according to the building code and the OHSA, construction regulations 213/91?
When you read any of the blogs that deal with Fall Protection, it must make one wonder why any employer would put their employees at risk since the information is right there for them to build the appropriate safety devices.
Remember the swing stage accident in Toronto, December of 2009 and the information for employee protection was never looked at and 4 employees dies from falling 13 stories. One poor worker lived through the fall but will never work again. 61 charges were laid, 8 for manslaughter.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’ and ‘Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259. We can also be reached at
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.