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Machinc
Machinc, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 815
Experience:  Has written home improvement articles since 2008. Earned South Carolina Residential Builders License in 1991.
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What is the height required guard rail around an air

Customer Question

what is the height required for a guard rail around an air conditioning well at a Boston college campus and where can I find it in the building code?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
There are several codes that may apply
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
In general the height can vary between 30 and 42 inches
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
Anything lower than 30 " should be brought to the attention of someone in authority.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=1752
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/ibc/2012/icod_ibc_2012_10_par346.htm
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
These are two code references that may apply
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
The actual code that was used to determine the existing height would be recorded within the city of Boston building records.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
There are several codes that may apply but the height will still fall somewhere within the 30"-42"
range.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
If the top of the barrier serves as a handrail the height would be more in the lower range 30 -36 inches
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
All of that said if there is a history of incidents or actual accidents the barrier and its circumstances should be studied to determine if special designs or heights should be added
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
Codes are minimum recommendations so there are times when construction "beyond code" is needed.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
If you want to take exception to the height or design of the barrier most persons in charge of public areas are more than willing to me to discuss safety concerns.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
The two links I sent you would both apply. The school or the City of Boston may refer you to a different code . While it may have a different title or jurisdiction the measurements will basically be the same.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
NOTE: an air conditioning unit may not be considered a hazard by the city and therefore be totally excempt from any barriers or handrails being placed around it.
In a case like that the height of the handrails / guardrails would not necessariy be an issue or subject to codes.
Expert:  Machinc replied 5 months ago.
A meeting with the persons in charge of this area to discuss your concerns would be a first step to determine if all codes and safety concerns have been met.

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