The Approved Documents
This document is one of a series that has been approved and issued by the Secretary of State for the purpose of providing practical guidance with respect to the requirements of Schedule 1 to and Regulation 7 of the Building Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2214) for England and Wales.
At the back of this document is a list of all the documents that have been approved and issued by the Secretary of State for this purpose.
Approved Documents are intended to provide guidance for some of the more common building situations. However, there may well be alternative ways of achieving compliance with the requirements. Thus there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an Approved Document if you prefer to meet the relevant requirement in some other way.
The guidance contained in an Approved Document relates only to the particular requirements of the Regulations which the document addresses. The building work will also have to comply with the requirements of any other relevant paragraphs in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.
There are Approved Documents which give guidance on each of the Parts of Schedule 1 and on Regulation 7.
Limitations on requirements
In accordance with Regulation 8, the requirements in Parts A to K and N (except for paragraphs H2 and J6) of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations do not require anything to be done except for the purpose of securing reasonable standards of health and safety for persons in or about buildings (and any others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings).
Paragraphs H2 and J7 are excluded from Regulation 8 because they deal directly with prevention of
the contamination of water. Parts L and M are excluded because they respectively address the conservation of fuel and power and access and facilities for disabled people. These matters are amongst the purposes, other than health and safety, that may be addressed by Building Regulations.
Materials and Workmanship
Any building work which is subject to the requirements imposed by Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations shall be carried out in accordance with regulation 7. Guidance on meeting these requirements on materials and workmanship is contained in Approved Document 7.
Building Regulations are made for specific purposes, primarily the health and safety, welfare and convenience of people and for energy conservation. Standards and other technical specifications may provide relevant guidance to the extent that they relate to these considerations. However, they may also address other aspects of performance or matters which, although they relate to health and safety etc., are not covered by the Building Regulations.
When an Approved Document makes reference to a named standard, the relevant version of the standard to which it refers is the one listed at the end of the publication. However, if this version has been revised or updated by the issuing standards body, the new version may be used as a source of guidance provided it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Regulations.
The Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 contain some requirements which affect building design. The main requirements are now covered by the Building Regulations, but for further information see Workplace health, safety and welfare. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Approved Code of Practice L24. Published by HSE Books 1992 (ISBN 0 7176 0413 6).
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 apply to the common parts of flats and similar buildings if people such as cleaners and caretakers are employed to work in these common parts. Where the requirements of the Building Regulations that are covered by this Part do not apply to dwellings, the provisions may still be required in the situations described above in order to satisfy the Workplace Regulations.
Safe working in drains and sewers
Laying and maintaining drains are hazardous operations. Appropriate safety codes should be followed including procedures for working in confined spaces. Safe working procedures and permits to work may be required in some situations.
Relevant statutory requirements can be found in the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996, SI 1996/1592, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994, SI 1994/3140 and the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997, SI 1997/1713.
The Health and Safety Executive operates an Information Line on 08701 545500, and produces the following advisory codes and information leaflets related to earthworks, drainage and working in confined spaces which are available from HSE Books, Tel 01787 881165.
Health and Safety in Excavation – be safe and shore, Booklet HSG 185.
Safe Work in Confined Spaces – Approved Code of Practice, Regulations and Guidance, Booklet L101.