It is vital that you are able to ensure the safety of those working on your site or in any industrial premises you may run. For this reason, sturdy handrails that adhere to the most stringent health and safety regulations are an absolute must-have. Not only will having the very best safety equipment mean that your staff are able to work with minimal risk, but it will also help to cut down your insurance premiums and help your projects to run on time with no hold ups.
The three main metals used to manufacture industrial handrails are mild steel, aluminium or stainless steel. Both mild steel and aluminium are slightly more flexible, meaning they are more likely to withstand sudden impact. Aluminium is a good option where weight is an important factor, as it is extremely light. You may wish to opt for stainless steel on projects where erosion may be an issue, as there are certain grades of this metal that are particularly resistant.
The types of material you may use in your handrail system will also affect the load that it can bear, so be sure to choose carefully. There are other factors besides that will affect this, so to help you decide on your exact specifications, Guardrail has a useful load table available to view right here.
There is no one go-to type of industrial handrail, as there are endless different projects for which they may be used. You can select from various handrail standard structures, base plate arrangements, stock bends or joints and even the diameters and general sizes of tubular sticks, solid fabricated sticks and tubular or solid ball fittings. You should also take great care when selecting from the available range of gates and infills, as this will be a very important safety-related aspect of your design.
For all of the above, it is vital that you properly calculate the lengths of each stretch of rail required as well as the angle of any rake. Mistakes here can be very costly in the best case and very dangerous in the worst.
One of the only areas in which you are not permitted to choose from a variety of options are those of location and baseline dimensions. By law, you must protect every existing platform with protective barriers around its open sides. These barriers must consist of a handrail, at least one intermediate or knee rail, a toe plate and handrail standards.
In terms of measurements, the distance between two rails or between the lower rail and the top of an upstand cannot be more than 500 mm and the top of the handrail needs to be a minimum distance of 1100 mm from the floor.
If you require assistance when designing your industrial handrail system, feel free to contact the team of specialists at Guardrail today. We’ll be more than happy to assist you.