- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 28 Jan 2020
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.
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.
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
Sweeping measures will shake-up residential sector.
The Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang
New design guide sets out requirements for a net zero future.
Achieving zero carbon by 2050.
Response options to party wall notices.
The government pledges £500m to reverse rail closures.
Learning lessons from HS2
Types of construction organisation.
European ports in a historic and global perspective. Book review.
The post-war response to blitz and blight.
Could you be our new editor?