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CROSS Safety Report

Concerns over welded wire mesh balustrade infill panels

Report ID: 841 Published: 2 February 2023 Region: CROSS-UK


Overview

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 

Full Report

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This section contains the Full Report submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s concerns or experiences. However, the text has been edited for clarity, and identifiable details have been removed to ensure anonymity and confidentiality. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process, or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.

 

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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