What is a toeboard?

Toeboards can be described as the protective barrier used to ensure safety of the workers. They are metal or wooden planks nailed horizontally near the edges of scaffold working platforms to prevent material and equipment from falling over. Toeboards are a crucial safety measure that should be embraced and installed to ensure the wellbeing of workers and pedestrians around the working site. Elevated working surfaces endanger the safe working conditions, as there is a constant threat of tools and objects falling down from the unprotected edges of those surfaces. Moreover, workers are also in danger of slipping from the edges of hoisted surfaces. So, toeboards also make the workers aware of an edge and contributes in avoiding any mishap.

What does a toeboard do?

Conventionally, toeboards are installed whenever there’s potential danger of objects falling down. It is considered obligatory to use toeboards, if the risk assessment expresses a dire need to provide protection against the falling tools and equipment. Elevated walkaways, runaways, floor openings and scaffolding are certain instances, where toeboards can be installed. Toeboards, when used with railguards delivers supplemental protection against faling objects. Integrating toeboard into scaffolding working platforms with railguards can implicitly lessen the chances of injuries and fatalities to workers below. Apart from that, it’s an exceptional solution for the workers with lower body imbalance issue and acts as a protective barrier to stop them from slipping over the edges. There are various ways of installing toeboards into the RailGuard system. One way is to weld it into edges, another is to drill and attach it with u-bolts. But, the most recommended way is to use extruded toeboard attached through special holes on the base flange fitting.

What is the standard size of a toe board?

As per Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provisions, the requirement for toeboard resides when there’s underlying threat of material, tools and equipment falling from the platform. Furthermore, OSHA provisions state that requisite toeboard should have standard size of 2×4 inches. These requirements are outlined by OSHA standard for “employers to provide protection for each employee exposed to fall and falling object hazards”.

What is the minimum height of a toe board?

Its minimum vertical height is set at 3.5 inches (9 cm) as measured from the top edge of toeboard to the level of working platform, whereas the opening above platform should not be more than 0.25 inch (0.5 cm). Additionally, a toeboard should be suitable enough to hold out against a force of 50 pounds at least, applied in any downward or outward direction. Despite the requirements being a bit technical, the compliance can assist to obtain safe working conditions and help to reduce hazardous incidents at workplace.

From preventing tools and objects going down over an edge to protecting workers from falling off, toeboards are believed to be an inevitable safety protocol that is used extensively in various industries. OSHA regulations has established a guideline regarding the utilization of toeboards at elevated platforms, which supports in creating a safe work environment and reducing fatalities to a greater extent.


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