NIOSH Roof Guardrail Touted in NORA Construction Newsletter

An adjustable roof bracket-safety rail system that can protect workers from falls is featured in Vol. 1, Issue 3 of "NORA Construction Sector News," which was posted Wednesday by NIOSH. Co-chairs Matt Gillen (coordinator of the NIOSH Construction Program) and Pete Stafford (executive director of CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training) highlighted this and another recent development in the Research to Practice (r2p) Corner of the newsletter, which is online at www.cdc.gov/niosh/news/nora/construction/noraconstnewsv1n3.html.

The design adjusts to seven roof pitches from 27 degrees to 63 degrees and can be used on flat roofs and working surfaces, Gillen and Stafford report. The guardrail can stop workers from sliding off roof edges, falling through unprotected roof/floor holes and existing skylights, and falling from balconies or decks, they add. Falling from unguarded edges and through unguarded holes and skylights accounted for an average of 154 deaths and 3,374 serious injuries annually from 1998-2005, their report notes.

The system was designed by Tom Bobick, Ph.D., PE, CSP, CPE, and three colleagues at the NIOSH Division of Safety Research: Tony McKenzie, Jr, Ph.D., PE; Doug Cantis, and Dave Edgell. They received an honorable mention in the 2008 NORA Innovative Research Award for Worker Health and Safety competition.

"The challenge now is to get the design into the marketplace," Gillen and Stafford write. "Currently, a Material Transfer Agreement has been arranged with three companies. Send an email to Tom at [email protected] if you would like to receive a brochure or think you might be interested in 1) partnering to get the design to market; or 2) using the solution once it is available." The NORA Symposium Poster is at www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora/symp08/posters/029.html.

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