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The importance of guardrails

New Jersey employers should ensure that they are following both International Code Council (ICC) and OSHA regulations for fall protection and guardrails. This may help them reduce the odds of a serious injury to someone visiting a premises or someone who may be working at heights. ICC and OSHA standards are implemented at both the state and federal level to provide uniform safety regulations inside of all new or remodeled buildings.

Guardrails are generally required in any building that has steps, accessible roof spaces or landings. They may also be required if a building has platforms or if there is more than 30 inches between two levels inside of it. OSHA requires that guardrails be used as part of a fall protection system if work is done more than 6 feet higher than the next lowest level.

Such a system may also be necessary if work is done more than 6 feet underground. It is important for employers to properly install guardrails as failure to do so could lead to fines or costly accidents. A guardrail must be able to withstand 50 pounds per linear foot to be considered up to International Building Code (IBC) standards. Furthermore, it must be able to withstand up to 200 pounds of direct force at all times to ensure that it won't leave someone vulnerable to a fall.

Workers who are injured after a fall at work are generally entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits generally cover a portion of a worker's lost wages as well as his or her medical bills related to the workplace injury. Workers who suffer significant permanent injuries may receive benefits on an indefinite basis. If a claim is denied or only partially approved, an individual may wish to talk with an attorney.

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