IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Strength of Wood Guardrails Secured to New Structures and Load Behaviour of Metal Guardrails Secured to Existing Structures

Abstract

Falls from heights are still one of the main causes of fatalities among construction workers. Temporary guardrails are an effective means of preventing falls from heights, while maintaining high productivity. The way guardrails are secured to the host structure has an influence on their strength, but no study has so far been conducted on wood guardrails installed on open-web joists or prefabricated walls.

The researchers want to investigate the strength of wood guardrails secured to new open-web joist structures and to a prefabricated wall, all built in the laboratory. This testing will enable them to make recommendations regarding the best method of securing guardrails to new structures. The researchers will also compare the load behaviour of metal guardrails installed on existing structures.

Engineers involved in guardrail design, OHS coordinators, and workers who manufacture and install these structures will have evidence-based data confirming that the load resistance complies with the values prescribed by Quebec’s Safety Code for the Construction Industry. Workers will then be better protected against falls from heights when working on roofs or framing under construction.