The building code mandates that stairs and floor openings require a guard or safety barrier to prevent falls and injuries.
International building code and most local building codes require 36” (or 900 mm) guard height from a walking surface. Local codes may be different. For example California building code requires 42” height, Ontario building code requires 42” high guards for outdoor elevations over 5’11”.
A floating stair outfitted with a frameless glass guard offers most openness and transparency.
If glass is not a desired material, guard may be made of metal rods.
Sidled stair design may prefer Opaque guards.