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Pedestrian barriers

Pedestrian barriers should have:

  • a handrail fixed at between 1 metre and 1.2 metres above ground level, which should be reasonably smooth and rigid to guide pedestrians and give them some measure of support;
  • a visibility panel at least 150 mm deep, which may be integral with the handrail or, if separate, must be fixed so that its upper edge is a minimum of 0.9 metres above ground level and may contain the red and white barrier sign; and
  • a tapping rail rail with a minimum depth of 150 mm and a lower edge at ground level or set at up to 200 mm above ground level.

Individual barriers should be joined together to form a continuous barrier to the working space. Barriers should be joined in a way that resists tampering. If, through monitoring visits or in any other way, you find that barriers are being tampered with and separated, then you must take additional measures to secure the barriers, for example by the use of clamps or ties that require a tool for removal.

Wind classes are given in Table 2 of BS 8442 (2006) Miscellaneous Road Traffic Signs and Devices – Requirements and Test Methods. Wind force should be calculated in accordance with Annex B (B.1) of that standard. Individual barriers or groups of barriers need to be capable of withstanding winds of Class C (8.7 m/s) blowing from any direction. This can be achieved through the use of ballast or crossbracing if necessary.

In some circumstances, your risk assessment may determine that enhanced guarding is required – for example if the site is to be left unattended, if it is next to a busy pedestrian thoroughfare, if there are pubs, clubs, football grounds or schools nearby, or if a deep excavation is present.