Protection from falling
K2.—(a) Any stairs, ramps, floors and balconies and any roof to which people have access, and
(b) any light well, basement area or similar sunken area connected to a building,
shall be provided with barriers where it is necessary to protect people in or about the building from falling.
Limits on application
Requirement K2 (a) applies only to stairs and ramps which form part of the building.
In the Secretary of State’s view, you can meet requirement K2 if, in order to reduce the risk to the safety of people in and around buildings, you use suitable guarding for the appropriate circumstance. Unless otherwise set out elsewhere in this document for particular situations, you can achieve this by the following:
a. in dwellings: provide pedestrian guarding that is capable of preventing people from being injured by falling from a height of more than 600mm
b. in buildings other than dwellings: provide pedestrian guarding that is capable of preventing people from falling more than the height of two risers (or 380mm, if not part of a stair).
The standard of provision for guarding needed to give an acceptable level of safety depends on the circumstances. For example, in a public building the standard of provision may need to be higher than in a dwelling, because people may be less familiar with the building and there may be more users. For areas where access is required only for maintenance, greater care can be expected from people and therefore a lower standard of provision may be acceptable.