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Re: railing loadings

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> From: "Vance Grover" <vanceg(--nospam--at)>

> I have come across a number of projects that require loadings of 100 plf
> any direction or a 300 lb concentrated load.  
> These loadings are called out in the spec book are not referenced to any
> code that I am aware of.

>From ASCE 7:
Loads that can be expected to occur on handrail and guardrail systems
are highly dependent on the use and occupancy of the protected area. For
cases in which extreme loads can be anticipated, such as long straight
runs of guardrail systems against which crowds can surge, appropriate
increase in loading shall be considered.

I believe that the codes have similar appendix clauses. This list has
discussed the failure of at least one guard system in a stadium
(Florida?) a couple years ago.

>From Paul Ransom:
If there is a possibility that people might seat themselves along the
top rail, 100 plf vertical is not unreasonable. If they can also brace
their legs against something in front of them, or a "small" crowd may
accumulate, 50 plf horizontal at the top rail is not unreasonable in the
same combination.

Design advisory: Guard heavy and watch the connections and supporting
members. Steel is cheap.

Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ad026(--nospam--at)> <>

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