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Manhole Guard Rails Manhole Guard Rails

Manhole Guard Rails

Manhole Guard Rails: Keeping Workers Safe and Compliant

Premier Safety is your one-stop shop for all your safety and facility solution needs. Our comprehensive selection of manhole guard rails, also referred to as manhole guards or manhole safety equipment, provides superior protection for workers around open manholes at construction sites, utility projects, and municipal roadways.

What is a Manhole Guard Rail?

A manhole guard rail is a temporary, portable barrier system specifically designed to secure open manholes. Typically constructed of high-strength steel tubing and a powder-coated safety yellow finish for high visibility, manhole guard rails create a physical barrier to prevent accidental falls or dropped objects from entering the opening.

Why Are Guard Rails Used?

Manhole guard rails play a vital role in worksite safety by:

  • Preventing Falls: Open manholes pose a serious fall hazard for workers. Guard rails provide a physical barrier to prevent workers from stepping or falling into the opening.
  • Deterring Accidental Material Drops: Tools, equipment, or debris falling into a manhole can cause damage, create retrieval challenges, and potentially injure workers below. Guard rails help prevent such incidents.
  • Enhancing Visibility: The bright yellow color of manhole guard rails effectively warns workers and pedestrians of potential hazards, promoting increased awareness around the work zone.

What Are the OSHA Regulations for Manholes?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlines specific safety regulations concerning manholes in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1926 Subpart X - Excavations. These regulations mandate that employers take steps to protect workers from cave-ins and falls related to excavations, including open manholes.

While OSHA doesn't explicitly require the use of manhole guard rails, they strongly recommend the use of effective barriers to safeguard workers around open manholes. Additionally, OSHA standards emphasize the importance of proper training for workers who access confined spaces such as manholes, including fall protection measures.


What is the difference between a guard rail and a handrail?

Guard rails are designed to prevent falls or dropped objects, while handrails are intended to provide support for workers as they enter or exit a confined space. Manhole guard rails typically have a higher profile (around 42 inches) compared to handrails.

Can a chain be used as a guardrail?

While a chain can provide a basic level of visual cue and deter entry, it doesn't offer the same level of physical protection as a fully structured manhole guard rail. OSHA regulations recommend the use of a strong and sturdy barrier system for fall prevention.

Why should guardrails be 42 inches high?

A general rule in fall protection is to have a barrier that is at least 42 inches high to prevent falls from a variety of heights, including missteps or leaning. 42 inches is a well-established standard that safeguards workers of most heights.

Keeping Your Worksite Safe

Premier Safety offers a wide selection of manhole guard rails to suit your specific needs and applications. We also provide a variety of safety products to keep your worksite compliant and your workers protected, including:

Remember, at Premier Safety, your safety is our priority. We are committed to providing you with the resources and equipment you need to create a safe and compliant working environment for your crew. Browse our extensive selection of manhole guard rails and contact our safety specialists today to discuss your specific requirements and find the optimal solution for your needs.