Toeboards: When to Use Them

EDGE Fall Protection Industrial Removable Guardrail

The purpose of toeboards is to prevent objects, tools, and equipment from falling over an edge of a roof or platform.  In general, it is best practice to implement toeboards as a vertical barrier whenever handrails are used with the potential of tools or objects falling from the edge.  Consequently, toeboards provide falling object protection and is another element in providing a safe working environment.

OSHA standard 1910.28 states requirements for “employers to provide protection for each employee exposed to fall and falling object hazards”.  This includes protecting employees from falling objects whether they are underneath a mezzanine, raised platform, ladderway floor hole, or platform hole.

  • Notice 1910.28(b)(3)(iv) includes toeboards with guardrail system (source):  “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.”

Further, OSHA standard 1910.29(k) includes standards for “protection from falling objects”.  In particular, toeboards used for falling object protection are to:

  • 29(k)(1)(ii): “have a vertical minimum height of 3.5 inches (9 cm) as measured from the top edge of the toeboard to the level of the walking-working surface”,
  • 29(k)(1)(iii): “do not have more than a 0.25 inch (0.5 cm) clearance or opening above the walking-working surface”, and
  • 29(k)(1)(vi): “are capable of withstanding a force of at least 50 pounds (222 N) applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the toeboard.”

EDGE Fall Protection provides a wide range of OSHA compliant edge protection and safety products.  Whether you have questions about toeboards or other edge fall protection needs, we’re eager to help.  Reach out to the EDGE Fall Protection team.