46 CFR § 127.310 - Where rails required.
(a) Each vessel must have permanently installed efficient guard rails or bulwarks on decks and bridges. Each rail or bulwark must stand at least 1 meter (39 1/2 inches) from the deck except that, where this height would interfere with the normal operation of the vessel, the cognizant OCMI may approve a lesser height.
(b) At exposed peripheries of the freeboard and superstructure decks, each rail must consist of at least three courses, including the top. The opening below the lowest course must be no more than 230 millimeters (9 inches) with courses no more than 380 millimeters (15 inches) apart. On other decks and bridges each rail must consist of at least two courses, including the top, approximately evenly spaced.
(c) If satisfied that the installation of any rail of the required height would be impracticable, the cognizant OCMI may accept hand grabs or a rail of a lesser height in its place.
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