Fall Safety Guardrail System (OSHA-Compliant Railing):
Understanding Options & Costs

Are you using a conventional guardrail system that costs you more in time and money yet provides you with sub-par protection?

To find out, let's first examine the process of installing and removing a typical perimeter protection system at a building construction site.

Conventional Perimeter Protection System (Installation)

A conventional angle iron and cable guardrail system is nothing more than a series of angle irons that are welded to the steel framing of the building under construction.

This system works well and the materials are relatively inexpensive, but it involves a significant amount of labor and a high degree of worker exposure to the edge of the building to install.

It requires two people working at the edge of the building; one worker holds the angle iron while the other one welds it. On a 30-story building they must do this three thousand times in a hazardous environment. They work wearing harnesses and tethers plus welding goggles and gloves. They must move alot of equipment from post to post, and they require a fire watch.

Conventional Perimeter Protection System (Removal)

With a conventional system a welder must cut the angle iron with a torch, grind it down flush with the surface and chip out any excess concrete. Removal is a surprisingly lengthy process and the angle iron is then too short to be used again, so it's scrapped.

Oftentimes slag from burning and grinding damages curtain walls and causes other fire hazards

Conventional Perimeter Protection System (Roof)

In a conventional installation the roof must be installed around the angle irons resulting in a large slice in the membrane extending all the way to the edge of the building. This must then be temporarily patched so that it is watertight allowing painting carpeting and drywall construction to continue below.

When the job is done the angle iron must be cut off and ground down then a steel plate must be installed to protect the membrane against damage and the large affected area repaired.

For all these reasons, we've reinvented the OSHA post, and designed a system that's less expensive to install and significantly less expensive to remove. It's also reusable; you pay for it once but use it over and over again.

Why is using the patented Perimeter Protection Product system much simpler and less expensive than using common angle iron?
Let’s have a look.

PPP System: Installation

The basic Perimeter Protection Products system consists of a prefabricated baseplate and post. Our base plates can be welded to the structural beams in the fabrication shop or field installed for maximum efficiency.

We recommend installing the plates in the fab shop, but if you prefer to install the plates in the field, that's a job that can now be easily done by one person.

After the base plates have been attached, it takes one person only a few seconds to install each post. The posts support the wire cable which provides protection at the perimeter of the building. Instead of painstakingly threading the cable through holes in the angle iron, you just run the cable out for the length of the building and slip it quickly into place on the guides on each post. When pouring concrete a plastic sheath is installed on the post before it is screwed in.

PPP System: Roof

With our system you simply make a small opening, back out the post while leaving the cable in place and run the roofing underneath it. When perimeter protection is no longer needed you just cover that small opening with a patch there's no cutting or grinding just peel and stick and the job is finished.

Base Plates = Future Tie Off Points

Another feature of the system is that the base plates remain available under the surface of the roofing membrane. This means that if future work requires a tie off, you have the benefit of an already installed base plate available every eight feet.

Simply open up the patch, install the support plate and the fall arrestor anchor and you have a safe and convenient tie off point. The spacers allow adjustment to accommodate different heights of insulation on a tapered roof.

Safety Benefits

The PPP system eliminates 87% of worker exposure at the edge of the building. This is a result of spending significantly less time installing and removing the system while working at the perimeter of the building.

Our posts and Fall Arrest Anchors meet all OSHA specifications. The posts are designed to not only support a 200-pound side load but have also been tested to 5,000 pound breaking strength so they can be used as a tie off point.

The Fall Arrest Anchors are also tested to a full 5,000 pound breaking strength. The standard base plate incorporates a unique safety design feature; a special shouldered nut. Even if the weld were to fail the nut cannot pull through. This provides an extra margin of safety to the system and the special jam-resistant thread helps ensure that your posts are mounted securely and safely every time.

OSHA Fall Protection System Accessories

A number of accessories have been designed to address different needs during construction.

Fall Arrest Anchors can be installed throughout the building and at the roof level by using the gusseted support plate. For pour-in-place concrete construction the system includes a concrete base plate. It works similarly to the standard base plate but it's designed to be screwed into the wooden shoring and adjusted to the proper height.

Rebar can then be threaded through the holes. Installation of the sheath and the post is the same as when using the standard plate, then the concrete can be poured.

Our beam-anchored cable supports can be screwed or tack welded to columns to reduce the number of posts required. This system accessory offers the same easy cable threading as the post-mounted cable guides and is significantly faster than threading cable through holes cut through the columns.

The corner brace unit allows you to easily tension the cable at roof corners to OSHA requirements.

In addition it's fully adjustable to accommodate any corner angle. It can even be used in the middle of long cable runs to help maintain the required tension and keep maximum cable deflection within OSHA requirements.

For re-roofing work, our multi-purpose base plate screws on to the wood blocking and otherwise performs exactly the same as our standard base plate. The multi-purpose base plate can also be used to provide perimeter protection in a wood-framed building.

If you have special requirements that aren't met by our standard equipment, we can custom design cost-effective system components for nearly any requirements.

Cost Savings Example: 30-Story Building Fall Protection Railing

For a typical 30-story building requiring three thousand angles the cost to install and remove them is approximately $230,000.

Using our system for the same 30-story building you need only purchase enough posts for ten stories at a time, the cost of the posts and base plates plus installation would be $150,000.

That's a savings of almost $100,000 the very first time you use the system.

After that, you already own the posts and only have to buy and install the base plates; the cost then drops to $87,000. The system more than pays for itself the first time you use it, and on the second building and each one thereafter you save nearly two-thirds of the cost of using a conventional system.

On smaller buildings, expect to save around 50% the second time you use the system and each and every time thereafter.

Perimeter Protection Products OSHA railing is great not just for skyscrapers, but also for bridge and highway construction as well.

Calculate YOUR Potential Savings

Use our cost savings calculator and find out how much you could save on your next construction project.

Finally, a construction safety railing system that’s safer, leaner, green, and reusable. What’s not to love?

Contact our team today to discuss perimeter safety options on your next building project.

Additional Perimeter Protection Accessory Products

The Corner Post System comes with pre-set cable tie-offs to meet OSHA’s required 42” top rail and 21” mid rail heights, but can be adjusted when floor thickness changes. It is designed to be used anywhere a cable must terminate. Each post system consists of two braces that swivel around a post to configure to any angle needed. The Corner Post System can also be set in a linear formation as an intermediary to support a straight run of cable up to 80’ in length.

Wet concrete embeds are designed to be placed in concrete during the pour but before the set is complete.

In steel construction, the standard base plate gets wlede to the steel beams in the fabrication shop or in the field, allowing for easy removal and reuses of posts.

The precast base plate, also designed for use in steel applications, can be welded in place or installed with TEK© #5 screws or deck pins.

Concrete wire embeds (4-leg) are designed for use in a concrete pour of 5 ½” to 8”, also available in 8” to 12” variety.

To accommodate floors from 6” to 14” thick, parapet wall clamps can be attached to parapet walls or rotated and attached to the edge of the concrete slabs.

The trenchbox guardrail clamp is an adjustable clamp designed to attach to a trenchbox toprail between ¾” up to 8”. It’s built with two brackets for wood two by fours.

If a toe board is desired, it's a simple matter to clamp on to the post. Using our toe board attachment, you can quickly install and remove toe boards as needed.

The clamp-on toeboard & wood rail brackets are straight, corner, and ‘T’ brackets that clamp on to our standard or corner posts for quick installation and removal of 2x toeboards or wood rails.

Available with or without a roof support, fall arrest anchor points are available in a variety of heights, or can be made to order. Anchors screw into the base plate and provide a 5,000lb load tie off point. They can be used during construction on all levels, and after construction on the roof, and are available in 6” and 10” versions.

Clamp-on cable guides allow for additional cable runs on one of our standard posts, or for installation of debris netting at the walking/working level.

Lastly, column-anchored cable supports (with cable termination) attach to a column and provide a cable guide point, as well as the ability to terminate one or more cables.

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