Berms or Guardrails
30 CFR 77.1605(k)
(a) Berms or guardrails shall be provided and maintained on the banks of roadways where a drop-off exists of sufficient grade or depth to cause a vehicle to overturn or endanger persons in equipment.
(b) Berms or guardrails shall be at least mid-axle height of the largest self-propelled mobile equipment which usually travels the roadway.
(c) Berms may have openings to the extent necessary for roadway drainage.
(d) Where elevated roadways are infrequently traveled and used only by service or maintenance vehicles, berms or guardrails are not required when all of the following are met:
(1) Locked gates are installed at the entrance points to the roadway.
(2) Signs are posted warning that the roadway is not bermed.
(3) Delineators are installed along the perimeter of the elevated roadway so that, for both directions of travel, the reflective surfaces of at least three delineators along each elevated shoulder are always visible to the driver and spaced at intervals sufficient to indicate the edges and attitude of the roadway.
(4) A maximum speed limit is posted and observed for the elevated unbermed portions of the roadway. Factors to consider when establishing the maximum speed limit shall include the width, slope and alignment of the road, the type of equipment using the road, the road material, and any hazardous conditions which may exist.
(5) Road surface traction is not impaired by weather conditions, such as sleet and snow, unless corrective measures are taken to improve traction.
(e) This standard is not applicable to rail beds.
There is no MSHA policy for this standard.
Berms or guards shall be provided on the outer bank of
MSHA policy can be found here: 77.1605(k)
These standards require that adequate berms or guardrails be installed on roadways where a drop-off exists of sufficient grade or depth to cause a vehicle to overturn or endanger persons in equipment. It also establishes requirements for the height and construction of berms and guardrails (metal and nonmetal). Alternative measures, other than berms, may be utilized for roadways that are infrequently traveled or used only by service or maintenance vehicles (metal and nonmetal).
Issues to Consider in Determining Compliance:
• If the drop-off is of sufficient grade or depth to cause a vehicle to overturn or endanger persons in the equipment:
» Is a berm or guardrail installed?
» Is the berm or guardrail mid-axle height to the largest vehicle that usually travels the road (metal and nonmetal)?
• If there are openings in the berms for water drainage:
» Are the openings small enough to impede self-propelled vehicles using the road (metal and nonmetal)?
• If the roadway is infrequently traveled or used only by service or maintenance vehicles (metal and nonmetal)?
» If berms or guardrails are not installed on roads traveled by service or maintenance vehicles, does the roadway have locked gates at all entry points?
» Are signs posted at appropriate locations to indicate that berms or guardrails are not present?
» Are delineators installed and visible along the perimeter of the elevated roadway in both directions of travel?
» Are reflective surfaces of at least three delineators along each elevated shoulder always visible to the driver and spaced at intervals sufficient to indicate the edge and height of the roadway?
» Is a maximum speed limit posted and observed for any elevated, unbermed portions of the roadway?
v Is the speed limit being observed?
(77.1607(c) - prudent operation of loading and haulage equipment)
» Have measures been taken to provide traction in inclement weather?
Other issues covered by related standards:
• Was a berm, bumper block, safety hook, or similar impeding device provided at dumping locations where there was a hazard of overtravel or overturning?
(77.1605(l) - dump site restraints)