4.3 – Guardrails & Handrails


Griffin Properties Ltd. will ensure all guards, guardrails, and handrails used for the protection of workers are constructed, installed and maintained in accordance with OHS Regulation 4.54 to 4.63.


  1. Anytime a guard, guardrail, or handrail is removed to accommodate work, the following will take place:
    • only the portion necessary to allow the work to be done will be removed
    • access will be restricted only to workers involved in the work activity
    • the removed section will be replaced as soon as practicable by the worker who removed it if the work area is left unattended, or work is completed and the area requires further guarding
  2. All permanent guardrails or handrails in a building will be:
    • appropriate for the use and occupancy of the area
    • compliant with applicable building codes and other legislative requirements
  1. Guards will be used as a barrier to visually alert workers of:
    • inadvertent entry into hazardous areas
    • potential fall hazards above 4 feet that do not meet specific fall protection requirements (Fall Protection)
  1. Guardrails will be used as a protective barrier meeting specific structural requirements used to prevent workers from fall hazards or inadvertent entry into hazardous areas.
  2. Permanent guardrails will be installed to withstand a horizontal load of 125 lbs. applied at any point along the rail, and a downward load of 100 lbs. per foot along the top rail.
  3. Temporary guardrails will:
    • not be made of fibre or wire rope without the prior approval of WorkSafeBC
    • withstand a load of 125 lbs. applied perpendicular to the span in a horizontal or vertically downward direction at any point on the top rail
    • be built to meet the requirements of (4)
  4. Unless designed by an engineer, temporary wooden guardrails will:
    • have posts spaced no more than 8 feet apart, except a scaffold may have posts spaced no more than 10 feet apart
    • have at least 2″ x 4″ wooden top rails for a span of up to 8 feet between supports, and at least 2″ x 6″ wooden top rails for a span of 8 to 10 feet between supports
    • have 1″ x 6″ or 2″ x 4″ wooden mid-rails
    • have wooden rails secured to the tops or inner sides of their vertical supports
    • have at least 2″ x 4″ wooden guardrail posts installed with the narrow dimension facing the open edge
  5. An appropriately secured plastic or wire mesh fence of adequate strength may be used in place of the mid-rail.
  6. Anytime a worker is elevated above the floor, and the effective height of guardrails or walls is thus reduced to less than 40″, additional guardrails will be installed.
  1. Handrails will be used as a stabilizer to prevent workers from potential slips or falls on stairs.
  2. Stairs with more than 4 risers will have continuous handrails on:
    • any open side of the stairway,
    • one side of enclosed stairways 44″ or less wide
    • both sides of enclosed stairways over 44″ wide
  3. Handrails will be installed as follows:
    • the top of a handrail will be 30″ to 36″ above the stair tread, measured vertically from the nose of the tread, and the height must not vary on any flight or succession of flights of stairs
    • handrail on an open side of a stairway will have a mid-rail located approximately midway between the top of the handrail and the nose of the stair tread
    • handrail will be able to withstand a load of 300 lbs. applied vertically or horizontally at any point along the handrail
Vehicle Protection
  1. Where practicable, a curb or engineered guard will be installed whenever there is a danger of a vehicle or other equipment running off the edge of an elevated area.