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fall protection on parapets

State WI
Description Text

We have had our contractor's mount hardware on top of our 32" bridge parapets to comply with OSHA fall requirements.


Here is one example. 

I have concerns from a roadside design perspective that:

  • Vertical struts are snag issue
  • cables may interfere with vehicle once it leans over the barrier.

I have heard of 2x4 being used  on our parapets and temporary barrier as well.


I wanted to get MwRSF's impression of what our contractors are doing.






  • Bridge Rails
  • Temporary Barriers
Other Keywords none
Date July 22, 2015
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Response The concern with the addition of structures on existing barrier systems would be similar to those concerns with barrier performance raised in previous studies regarding pedestrian rails, combination bridge rails, and the Zone of Intrusion (ZOI) study. Additional structure on top of a barrier may pose a snag hazard, adversely affect vehicle stability, potentially create dangerous debris, and pose a hazard for partially ejected occupants or occupant heads among other concerns. 

Thus, while there is a need for fall protection in critical areas, we would recommend that the fall protection concern be weighed against concerns for the effect on the safety performance of the barrier. 

Development of safe fall protection hardware would likely require further research, design, and potential evaluation testing. additionally.  the design of the fall protection may differ significantly depending on the type of barrier it is used on.
Date September 3, 2015

Contact Us:
130 Whittier Research Center
2200 Vine Street
Lincoln, NE 68583-0853
(402) 472-0965
Email: mwrsf@unl.edu
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