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Penn, Do Better: Fisher-Bennett East Stairs Violate OSHA 1910.29(b)(1)


Photo by Darrion Chen / The Daily Pennsylvanian

To ensure that people are safe at work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates the height of the guardrails on elevated walking surfaces. As I was walking by the staircase in Fisher-Bennett Hall, I noticed that the balconies seemed strangely short. Curious, I measured the height and found them to be about 33.5 inches. 

Since the Fisher-Bennett East Stairs are only about 33.5 inches, they are in direct violation of OSHA 1910.29(b)(1), which state that “the top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking-working surface.” It is obvious that 33.5 inches is less than 39 inches. 

Penn, please do better. I don’t want to go over the balcony and turn myself into a pile of hairy strawberry ice cream, especially in Fisher-Bennett Hall