CROSS Safety Report
Concerns over welded wire mesh balustrade infill panels
A reporter has expressed their concern about the structural adequacy of some welded wire mesh balustrade infill panels that they have come across.
Key Learning Outcomes
For metalwork companies:
- Be aware that if an infill panel is to act as a structural barrier it should be designed to resist the required loadings and comply with the applicable building regulations
- BS6180 also provides helpful guidance on building temporary and permanent barriers in and around buildings to protect people
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A reporter has seen a number of metalwork companies selling balustrade mesh infill panels as 'off the shelf' items. The reporter has queried several of them as to whether they meet building regulation requirements for loading on infill panels of balustrades (both a point load and a uniformly distributed load). Several of them assured the reporter that they work but were not able to provide any data for this or they advised the reporter that they were non-structural and did not need to meet any loading requirements.
It seems that a lot of this material must be sold without the panels ever being designed or tested. The public would reasonably think that these panels are fit for purpose and meet building regulation requirements but the reporter cannot see how this would be the case with them usually consisting of 3mm wire at 50mm centres held onto uprights with a few clamps either side.
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