Which safety gate is right for you?

Voids created by access and egress points are a serious risk to life and limb in any raised area or roof.

Whilst barriers and guardrailing will do much to protect those working in or accessing these areas, any system is rendered useless if the void created by an access point from steps or ladders is not protected.

Common solutions to this issue include chains or bars which are pulled across the gap. However, as we’ve previously discussed, these can do more harm than good. These solutions rely on the user replacing them once they have passed through the gap, which many often fail to do.

As well as this, these solutions can provide a false sense of security and might lead to someone leaning on them or grabbing them in case of a fall, leading to breakage and injury, or possibly worse.

So, what is the solution? That depends on just what kind of void you have.

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Warehouse steps

Protecting your workers from voids

Whenever there is a fall risk present, either from a roof or a raised surface such as a loading bay or mezzanine floor, you are legally required to provide a form of fall protection.

This will usually come in the form of edge protection such as guardrail, either freestanding or fixed, or another barrier system.

However, if access is required to this raised area via a ladder or staircase, such as for maintenance, and you are unable to close it off with a barrier, then you will be left with a void. This void could be considered a risk and might lead to injury or legal trouble should you be subject to a HSE inspection.

So, if you cannot close the area off, but you also cannot leave the access point open, what are your options?

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What are the requirements for DDA handrail?


At Harcon, we strongly believe in access for all, which is why we offer the Kee Access® range of Equality Act (formerly DDA) compliant handrails.

Handrails are essential for helping the elderly and those with disabilities gain safe access to buildings, and the Equality Act, as well as the Building Regulations, lay out several requirements that all handrail must meet to be considered DDA compliant.

These regulations concern several areas, such as requiring a tube diameter of between 40 and 45mm, that the railing has no sharp edges or snag points, and that it be visually contrasted with the surrounding environment.

However, one of the most important regulations dictates the temperature of the handrail itself.

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