Guardrail is to provide edge protection at the edge of a floor, platform or walkway. Handrail is rail that provides a handhold on a platform, walkway, stairway or step ladder. Guardrail can be designed to be suitable for use as a handrail.
The height of a handrail above the floor or the nosing of a stair tread, shall be between 900mm and 1100mm. Where fall from height is significant it is recommended to increase the height of the guardrail to at least 1000 mm.
Where circular metal handrails are provided, external diameter shall be 30mm to 65mm.
Where square or rectangular handrails are provided, the sum of height and width shall be 70 mm to 100mm.
Unrestricted movement of the user’s hand along the upper surface with a minimum hand clearance of 50mm, with no sharp edges or other features that could cause injury to the user.
Guardrailing shall consist of a top rail and a knee rail both parallel to the floor, walkway or platform. Distance between the knee rail and the floor to be ≤ 560mm. Where toeboards are used the distance between the knee rail and top of the toeboard to be ≤ 450mm
Toeboard or Kick plate
A toeboard shall be installed if there is gap greater than 10mm from a permanent structure. Or if falling objects creates a hazard to personnel accessing the area below.
Any gap between the underside of the toeboard and the walkway surface shall be within 10mm. The top of the toeboard shall be minimum 100mm above the floor.
Guardrails shall be designed to sustain a single acting force of 600 N or 350 N/m acting outwards or downwards at any part of the system. No part of the system shall deflect elastically by more than 100mm under the imposed load.
Other loads to be consider when designing the system are forces imposed by wind loading.
Any part of the toeboard shall withstand a horizontal force of 100N, with no elastic deflection greater than 30mm and no gap greater than 10mm to be exposed between the inside face of the toeboard and the edge.
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