The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a dedicated standard for construction site safety, “Safety and Health Regulations for Construction.” Included in 29 CFR Regulation Part 1926 are dozens of subparts containing regulations for various aspects of construction site safety.
While there is no explicit subpart for OSHA fence requirements at the construction site, there are requirements that pertain to using construction site fencing — such as chain-link fences — to support safety around the perimeter of a commercial construction site.
From our experience providing roll-off dumpsters at construction sites throughout Houston, we know that construction managers have to make important decisions at the construction site to protect their employees and avoid OSHA violations. While we do not offer fencing for the construction site, we want to do our part helping you make sure your construction management plan is complete with a clear understanding of the safety-related requirements for fencing.
OSHA Regulations Pertaining to Construction Fencing
We have outlined a few of the OSHA regulatory items that relate to construction site fencing for the perimeter of the site. The main takeaway is to use fencing in a way that protects the safety of construction workers, enables safe access to and from the construction site, and separates the public from the construction site.
Means of Egress
– OSHA Standard 1926.34 outlines the requirements to provide a means for construction personnel to be able to freely leave the construction site, such as in the case of an emergency, fire, or other similar event.
OSHA states: “building or structure exits shall be so arranged and maintained as to provide free and unobstructed egress from all parts of the building or structure at all times when it is occupied.”
This captures the importance of construction site fencing to be arranged in such a way that it does not interfere with the ability of the construction crew to exit the site when needed. This also means that fencing should have a clear opening that allows for individuals to leave in a quick fashion without needing to unlock a gate that is attached to the fence or maneuver the fence to allow for an exit.
– OSHA Standard 1926.752(c)(1) outlines the requirements for steel erection at the construction site. Included are guidelines for the site layout, specifically allowing for authorized personnel and equipment to have appropriate access to the site.
OSHA requires “adequate access roads into and through the site for the safe delivery and movement of derricks, cranes, trucks, other necessary equipment, and the material to be erected and means and methods for pedestrian and vehicular control. Exception: this requirement does not apply to roads outside of the construction site.”
Fencing can be used as a method to ensure safe access to the construction site for construction workers. Also, fencing needs to be appropriately arranged to create a distinct separation from the public and to enable safe foot traffic for pedestrians near the construction site.
Other Areas of Concern
We have focused on using construction site fencing to establish a safe perimeter around the construction site. There are additional OSHA requirements for using barriers when work is being performed in elevated areas, on scaffolds, in hazardous areas, or near holes at the construction site.
– OSHA Standard 1926.1424 for “Work Area Control” outlines the requirements for creating barriers to section off specific areas of the construction site, such as hazardous areas.
One specific recommendation from OSHA is to “erect and maintain control lines, warning lines, railings, or similar barriers to mark the boundaries of the hazard areas.” Barriers can be used to mark these boundaries and create a clear indication for construction workers when they are entering a hazardous area. This typically requires a different type of barrier than what would typically be positioned around the perimeter of the site.
– We recommend periodically reviewing the full requirements outlined by OSHA in Standard 1926 to ensure that you are meeting OSHA requirements.
We also recommend reviewing local and city ordinances pertaining to construction site fencing. For example, the generally-accepted minimum height for a construction site fence is 6 feet. However, some municipalities may require a minimum height of 7 feet.
Contact Gainsborough Waste for Construction Site Support
Safety is of the utmost importance to our company. We have proudly worked with construction site managers and contractors in Houston for 25+ years to provide safe services at the construction site.
Specifically, we rent roll-off dumpsters to help keep waste under control at the construction site. We understand how important it is to provide these services in a safe manner that aligns with your construction management plan.
When reviewing whether your construction site fencing is compliant with OSHA requirements, be sure to include roll-off dumpsters from Gainsborough Waste in your plan. We can help your site by providing a safe method to dispose of waste.
To rent dumpsters for your construction site, call us today at 713-785-8050 to schedule delivery. You can also email [email protected] or complete our contact form. We look forward to safely meeting your needs.