Protection from falling, collision and impact

  1. Summary

    Summary

    1.1 This approved document gives guidance on how to comply with Parts K1, K2, K3, K4, K5.1, K5.2, K5.3, K5.4 and K6 of the Building Regulations. It contains the following sections:

    Section 1: Guidance on aspects of the geometry of stairs, special stairs, fixed ladders and handrails for and guarding of stairs
    Section 2: Guidance on ramps and guarding of ramps
    Section 3: Guidance on protection from falling
    Section 4: Guidance on vehicle barriers and loading bays
    Section 5: Guidance on protection against impact with glazing
    Section 6: Guidance on protection from collision with open windows etc.
    Section 7: Guidance on manifestation of glazing
    Section 8: Guidance on safe opening and closing of windows etc.
    Section 9: Guidance on safe access for cleaning windows etc.
    Section 10: Guidance on protection against impact from and trapping by doors.

    Application

    1.2 Regulation 3 defines building work such that the following applies.

    a. Glazing which is installed in a location where there was none previously as part of the erection, extension or material alteration of a building (other than an exempt building), and the replacement of a whole unit (i.e. the frame and glazing) is building work and is subject to requirement K4 and K5.2.

    b. The replacement of glazing whilst retaining an existing frame (e.g. as a repair) is not building work, but the supply of the glazing may be subject to consumer protection legislation.

    1.3 Requirement K1 applies to means of access outside a building only when the access is part of the building (i.e. attached). For example, requirement K1 does not apply to steps on land leading to a building, but does apply to entrance steps which are part of the building.

    1.4 Regarding access routes.

    a. Where access and circulation routes form part of a means of escape for people in case of fire, refer to Approved Document B: Fire safety, Volume 1 – Dwellinghouses, and Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellinghouses.

    b. For external pedestrian access and circulation routes to buildings, from the boundary of the site and car parking, reference should also be made to Approved Document M: Access to and use of buildings.

    Interaction with other legislation

    1.6 The guidance provided in this document is in relation to the permanent features which form part of the building providing reasonable safety in the appropriate circumstances. However, there may well be particular situations, such as access for maintenance required less frequently than once a month (e.g. see paragraph 1.42b), where such permanent features may be less appropriate. Where this may be the case the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 provides detail on procedures for safe use of temporary means of access, together with focus on effective planning and management of risk.

    1.7 Health and safety regulations such as the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 may impose requirements on employers and those in control of premises used as workplaces in relation to certain physical characteristics of the workplace. Where such regulations apply there may be confusion as to whether the Building Regulations or health and safety requirements take precedence, as both will apply. Where an inspector for the purposes of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 has identified a contravention of such health and safety regulations they may seek to serve an improvement notice to secure compliance. In such circumstances the inspector is prevented by virtue of section 23(3) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 from requiring measures which are more onerous than necessary to comply with any requirements of the Building Regulations, unless the specific requirement of health and safety regulations are themselves more onerous. Where applicable the following cross-referencing should be made.

    a. For building work relating to requirement K1 of the Building Regulations, regarding the design of stairs, ladders and ramps, see regulation 17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Regulation 17 relates to permanent stairs, ladders and ramps on pedestrian routes within the workplace premises, including those used to give access for maintenance to parts of the workplace premises.

    b. For building work relating to requirement K2 of the Building Regulations, regarding the avoidance of risk from falling when working at height, see regulation 6 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    c. For building work relating to requirement K3 of the Building Regulations, regarding the design of vehicle barriers and loading bays, see regulation 17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    d. For building work relating to requirement K4 of the Building Regulations, regarding the prevention of personal injury, see regulation 14(1)(a) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    e. For building work relating to requirement K5.1 of the Building Regulations, regarding the requirements for projecting windows, skylights and ventilators, see regulation 15(2) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    f. For building work relating to requirement K5.2 of the Building Regulations, regarding the requirements for marking windows, transparent or translucent doors, gates and walls, see regulation 14(1)(b) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    g. For building work relating to requirement K5.3 of the Building Regulations, regarding the requirements for opening, closing or adjusting windows, skylights and ventilators, see regulation 15(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    h. For building work relating to requirement K5.4 of the Building Regulations, regarding the requirements for cleaning windows and skylights, etc., see regulation 16 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

    i. For building work relating to requirement K6 of the Building Regulations, regarding the requirements for doors and gates, see regulation 18 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.