Guard rails are intended to prevent workers from getting too close to the falling edge, resp. from accidentally stepping out over it. A guard rail system is a measure designed to prevent life-threatening - or even fatal - falls from high up. Guard rails offer collective protection as they protect one or more individuals even where these are not familiar with using individual protection equipment. Such collective protection measures are to be given precedence over personal fall protection equipment (PPE).
Guard rails can be permanently installed. However, there are also various ways to set up a temporary system, in which case these systems are weighted down using weights or other heavy materials. These guard rails are usually made of weather-resistant aluminium material which makes them really easy to transport.
According to EN 13374 (“Temporary lifeline systems”), a guard rail must be at least 100 cm high. When set up directly at an edge where there is no skirting or parapet or where this is not at least 10 cm high, a special toe board is needed alongside the standard hand and knee rails.