DR-FLCO-Ironworks at the Mill
FLCO - Ironworks at the Mill.  Photo courtesy of David Risner

To prevent workers from being exposed to a potential slip, trip and fall hazard, handrails and stair rails should be installed on stairs with four or more risers. 

The height of these rails should be 30 to 34 inches, with an intermediate rail about halfway between the top rail and base of stairs, if for a stair rail. 

Different types of railing may be used, which includes:

  • Wood railings: 2 x 4 lumber, not more than 6 feet apart.
  • Pipe railings: 1-1/2″ inch diameter, not more than 8 feet apart.
  • Steel: 2 x 2 x 3/8” inch with an angle not more than 8 feet on center.

These rails should be smooth with no protrusions and be able to withstand
200 lbs. of force.

What is the difference between handrails and stair rails?

  • Stair rails are used to prevent workers from falling off the staircase.  
  • Handrails are useful for stability and balance.

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