According to OSHA, a common cause of industry injuries and fatalities is falls. Because falls are a common cause of injury and death, providing fall protection is important. One consideration for OSHA compliant fall protection is the use of safety gate fall protection. Safety gates are useful in minimizing fall risks and preventing workplace accidents. In addition, safety gates do not hinder work productivity.
Areas Appropriate for Safety Gate Applications
To avoid employee injuries and fatalities in the workplace, here are three key safety gate fall protection application areas:
(1) Loading Docks
A loading dock gate whether single cantilever, dual cantilever, or rolling opening gate serves as protection to personnel from falling. Loading dock openings are at heights around 48” to 52”. Maybe these heights seem safe, but fall protection is needed! Furthermore, it’s important to remember that OSHA’s general industry standard is to protect personnel exposed to a height greater than 4 feet.
(2) Mezzanines or Other Industry Platforms
Certainly protecting personnel working above and working below a mezzanine must be done without impeding the loading area. A mezzanine safety gate allows access to move materials and yet provide safe restriction to the loading area. Here are two safety gate fall protection systems designed to meet OSHA standards and include manual, electric, or pneumatic operation:
Another gate option for mezzanines or other industry platforms are pallet safety gates. Pallet gates open from the outside and allows pallets and other items to enter the mezzanine or platform with a fork lift.
(3) Roof Access Points or in Railings
A self-closing gate protects access points to a roof. These safety gate fall protection systems are useful for ladder openings, stairs, walkway access, catwalks, and transition points to a different level roof.
Also, safety gates are used at entryways through safety guard railings or installation into railings which surround equipment or machinery. Safety gates allow access yet provide fall protection.
Are Safety Gates Required by OSHA?
Safety gates may not be a direct requirement, but OSHA regulations state what criteria fall protection must meet. For example, OSHA standard 1910.28(b)(3)(iv) states “Each employee is protected from falling into a ladderway floor hole or ladderway platform hole by a guardrail system and toeboards erected on all exposed sides, except at the entrance to the hole, where a self-closing gate or an offset must be used.” Notice that a self-closing gate is not a direct OSHA requirement. In addition, OSHA has requirements that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery. EDGE safety gates meet and exceed OSHA regulations for fall protection.
Above all, keep your employees safe. Preventing falls by using safety gates is beneficial to your bottom line. If you have questions about safety gate fall protection systems, please reach out to us.