According to Approved Document K, Protection from falling, collision and impact, guarding is ‘…a barrier that denies pedestrians or vehicles access to another area, for example the floor below’. Where a barrier is ‘…a structure – either a raised rail or a solid wall – that denies access to another area.
Walls, parapets, balustrades and similar obstructions may be used as guarding.
Guarding should be provided wherever necessary for safety to guard the edges of any part of a floor (including the edge below an opening window), gallery, balcony, roof (including roof lights and other openings), any other place to which people have access, and any light well, basement or similar sunken area next to a building. It should also be provided in vehicle parks. Guarding is not necessary on ramps used only for vehicle access or in places such as loading bays where it would obstruct normal use.
 Typical locations of guarding
 Guarding design
Guarding must be able to resist the loads given in BS EN 1991-1-1 with its UK National Annex, UK National Annex to Eurocode 1. Actions on structures. General actions. Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings (2002) and PD 6688-1-1 Recommendations for the design of structures to BS EN 1991-1-1 (2011).
In buildings that might be used by children under 5, guarding should be designed so that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through, it should prevent children being held fast and should be difficult to climb.
Where people will use stairs or ladders to access areas for maintenance less frequently than once a month, it may be appropriate to use temporary guarding or warning notices as specified in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, the Work at Height Regulations and the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Built over a period of 632 years, Cologne Cathedral is considered one of the world's finest examples of Gothic architecture.
UandI adds £1.5bn to development pipeline.
Here are 5 things leaders can do to create a truly circular economy.
Find out about the different types of delays on construction projects.
Researchers at Wien university have developed new system to create an inflatable concrete structure.
ICE responds to the first consultation on the government's industrial strategy post-Brexit.
Take a look at this newly-opened tower in Chicago with a remarkable 20:1 height-to-base ratio.
An Arc de Triomphe for the late-20th century, the La Grande Arche of Paris.
Richard Hayward of Legrand asks whether technology could help developers meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.
The principles, practice and formwork of one of the most important components of modern architecture.