Sidewalk guard rails ?

I inspected a home today that has a sidewalk atop a 4’ retaining wall. Is there a code that would require guards/railings? Any help would be appreciated.





Around here it is for anything 30" or higher.

I just recommend a guard or railing for enhanced safety eliminating the need for code verifications.

IRC 312.1 UBC 509.1

Hey guys, appreciate the input. I interpret 312.1 as referring to floors, porches and balconies attached to a home not exterior sidewalks. Am looking for coding that would be more specific for yards, retaining walls, walkways, etc… I wrote this up as a Safety Fall/Hazard but I would like to know if there is a specific code requirement for this type scenario. My client is concerned that his insurance agent may require railings.

I interpret it for any walk off greater than 30" above floor or grade.

But I really interpret it as not being safe and would not mention the code in my report, just write it up as safety concern.

Ditto. And well said.

I have the same interpretation. If it is made to walk on, that makes it a walkway, so if someone on that walkway can fall 30" or more, it needs guardrails.

Hi to all,

As other have said, inspectors are recommended to use common sense over safety issues, however as Steve asked for a code in support of this, here ya go: