Walking Surface-Guardrails Legislative Interpretations

Topic: Walking Surface-Guardrails Issued by: Director, Compliance & Regulatory Review
Statute: General Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: October 4, 2022
Section: 102(2)(a) Date Revised:


I work on a project site where numerous floors, balconies, platforms and mezzanines are under construction.  During my fall protection training I was informed that fall protection is generally required if there is a risk of falling from heights of 3m or more.  However, paragraph 102(2)(a) requires guardrails only at 1.2m and does not allow the use of other fall protection systems.


The question is which provision (s) apply in the circumstances outlined above?



Paragraph 102(2)(a) is included in regulation to ensure that floors, balconies, walkways or platforms in a place of employment that are no longer under construction (built) meet the requirements of the National Building Code.  As a result, WorkSafeNB is of the opinion that the requirements in 102(2)(a) do not apply to project sites.  Fall protection requirements for the structures mentioned above would therefore need to meet the requirements of section 49 and 50.

Please note that the National Building Code has been updated since paragraph 102(2)(a) was introduced.  Strict adherence to paragraph 102(2)(a) does not mean your building is compliant with the Code – verify with your municipality or local district area for further information on Code compliance.


If there is a conflict between paragraph 102(2)(a) and the Code, the requirements of the Code prevail.  As an example, the Code allows for guardrails to be absent on a loading dock with a floor to which an employee may fall a vertical distance of 1.2 m or more.


Referenced legislation

102(2)(a) Subject to subsection (6), an employer and a contractor shall each ensure that a guardrail which meets the requirements of section 97 is provided at the open sides and open ends of a floor, mezzanine, balcony, walkway or platform, to which an employee has access and from which the employee may fall a vertical distance of 1.2 m or more.

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