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RE: Railings on Stairs - OSHA 1910.23 & the Florida Building Code

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Please also note OSHA Section 1910.24(c) which defines the loading requirements for stairs – “uniform load of 5 times the normal live load or 1,000 lbs moving concentrated load”.


There was a question submitted for clarification which did not help.  It stated “the design must be based on their ultimate strength [yield stress (Fy) or ultimate stress (Fu)] and not on the allowable stresses as given in the Allowable Stress Design method of AISC, 9th edition”.


Gary W. Loomis, P.E., Senior Structural Engineering

Master Engineers and Designers, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: M. David Finley, P.E., P.A. [mailto:davidfinley(--nospam--at)]
: Monday, August 27, 2007 10:31 AM
To: Seaint(--nospam--at)Seaint.Org
Subject: Railings on Stairs - OSHA 1910.23 & the Florida Building Code


OSHA 1910.23 (e) (2)  requires railings on stairs to be "not more than 34" nor less than 30" inches from the upper surface of top rail to surface of tread in line with face of riser at forward edge of tread"


The Florida Building Code (2005 Supplement) 1009.11.1 requires "Handrail height, measured above stair tread nosings, or finish surface of ramp slope shall be uniform, not less than 34" and not more than 38 inches"  It also allows an exception:  "Handrails for stairs not required to be accessible that form part of a guardrail may be 42" high"



Therefore, for an industrial building in Florida, it appears to me that I have to have the stair railing at exactly 34" or I will be in violation of either the OSHA or FBC requirements.  Has anyone had to deal with this before?  Am I mis-interpreting these sections?  Is there an exception to the FBC for industrial facilities?




David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025