Stainless Steel Balustrades for Commercial Buildings

This April, we celebrated the World Day for Health and Safety at Work. Aimed at promoting a healthy working culture for all, this campaign aims to highlight the importance of safety in commercial buildings. It also provides an opportunity for property owners to ensure their buildings are compliant with the law.

According to the UK’s Health and Safety at Work Act, employees and building managers have a duty to ensure that employees and visitors to their premises are not put at risk. Further UK regulations around health, safety and welfare in the workplace states that reasonable precaution must be taken to prevent people from falling a distance likely to cause an injury.

Just last year, 8% of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace occurred due to falls from a height. A further 35 people were fatally injured as a result of accidents caused by falling. Health and safety, therefore, is of vital importance in all commercial buildings.

Where do stainless steel balustrades come into it?

In accordance with the laws and regulations above, certain areas in commercial buildings require safeguarding to prevent falls and injuries. Such measures must comply with design criteria that can differ according to location and property type.

A stainless steel balustrade is both a stylish addition to a commercial property and a vital safety measure. So how do you know if your balustrade is compliant with the law?

Balustrades and UK law: what you need to know

UK building regulation states that balustrades must be provided in areas where people could be at risk of falling. This may include places like staircases, ramps, balconies and rooftops, alongs with sunken areas like basements or light wells.

Broadly, there are a few things business owners and building managers need to keep in mind:

  • In public buildings, the standard of guarding provision may be higher than in residential dwellings due to the volume of users and their unfamiliarity with the building. For example, in dwellings, guarding should be provided where there is a drop of more than 600mm.
  • In non-residential buildings, a drop of 380mm or the equivalent of two stairs should feature guarding. By contrast, the standard of provision for guarding around maintenance areas may be lower, as it’s expected that people accessing such areas will take greater care.
  • There are other issues to consider if a building is likely to be populated by children under five. Firstly, a 100mm sphere must not be able to pass through any gap to prevent a child getting stuck. Secondly, to prevent children from climbing the guarding, you should avoid horizontal railings.

Now let’s take a closer look at what is required of guarding design in relation to specific commercial properties.

For factories and warehouses, guarding should be:

  • At least 900mm high for stairs and ramps
  • At least 1100mm high for landings and floor edges

For retail, institutional, educational, office and public buildings, guarding should be:

  • At least 900mm high for flights of stairs
  • At least 1100mm high for all other locations

For assembly buildings, guarding should be:

  • At least 800mm high when located in front of fixed seating
  • Located within 530mm of said fixed seating
  • At least 900mm high for flights of stairs
  • At least 1100mm high for all other locations

Additionally, the minimum legal strength requirements of guarding are outlined by the UK building codes of practice. Depending on a number of factors, including building type and guarding usage, a balustrade may need to be strong enough to resist a force anywhere between 0.22 and 3.0 kN.

Why choose a stainless steel balustrade system?

An SHS stainless steel balustrade system will make an attractive addition to any commercial building. Steel is also resistant to corrosion, durable and easy to clean.

We offer of range of stainless steel balustrade systems suitable for all types of internal and external building projects. Whether you need to safeguard a staircase, balcony, ramp or rooftop, SHS has a safe and stylish balustrade product to suit your needs.

Most of our balustrade components can be fully customised to create a design that’s unique to your commercial property.

Clarion and Spigot

  • Both designs feature large glass panels held in place with modern, stylish stainless steel clamps
  • The Clarion offers a top-fixed solution, whereas the Spigot offers a base-fixed solution

Elegance

  • Features durable glass panels linked by sturdy stainless steel cylindrical posts
  • Boasts clean lines and a modern design

Glass Button

  • A minimal, contemporary design that combines sleek glass with uninterrupted views and a strong stainless steel clamp system
  • Also available as a Juliet balcony balustrade

Pinion

  • A brand-new addition to our balustrade product line
  • The stylish design features glass panels held in place with cylindrical posts and a stainless steel curved arm and button clamp

Professional

  • A stunning, contemporary balustrade made of toughened glass panels and strong stainless steel posts topped with a rounded stainless steel handrail for extra safety and support
  • One of our top-selling balustrade systems

Square Tube

  • A bold, geometric system that consists of stainless steel posts and glass panels
  • Glass panels can be either toughened or laminated

Wire Rope

  • A sturdy yet sleek design that’s easy to install and adds an on-trend nautical look to any project
  • The design features posts connected by wire rope infills and a cylindrical top rail all made from durable and stylish stainless steel

Taking the next step

Here at SHS, we have a wealth of experience working on commercial building projects. Our team of experts can assist with all aspects of a balustrade project, from design and manufacture right through to installation.

To find out more about our stainless steel balustrade systems, please use our free online quote builder for an instant estimate.

Alternatively, feel free to get in touch, and one of our friendly and professional team members will be happy to help with your enquiries.


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