Drives, paths and landscaping

10.2.5Guarding and steps

Retaining structures and steps shall be adequately guarded and allow safe use.

Guarding should be provided where:

  • structures are retaining land more than 600mm high to which people have access
  • a retaining structure is more than 600mm high and the dimension from the top of the retaining wall to the higher ground level is less than 300mm, or
  • a path is adjacent to a vertical difference in level of more than 600mm (including where ground adjacent to the path falls away at an angle of more than 30° from the horizontal).

The guarding should:

  • be a minimum of 1100mm high
  • not be readily climbable by children
  • not allow a 100mm diameter sphere to pass through.

External steps that are not considered under building regulations should:

  • have a maximum rise of 220mm
  • have a minimum going of 220mm
  • be reasonably uniform.

A handrail should be provided where the total rise of a flight of external steps is more than 600mm and the going of individual steps is less than 600mm.

Guidance for the provision of handrails to steps that form an accessible approach can be found in supporting documents to building regulations.