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Thursday December 14, 2023

In recent years the UK has seen an increase in the use of glass balustrades without the installation of handrails. BS 6180:2011 clarifies these issues, which we have listed below, if you need any clarification please contact your local building control.

If using monolithic toughened glass a handrail must also be used, in addition, it must be adequately secured to act as a secondary barrier should the glass fail i.e. the handrail should remain in-situ if a panel breaks.
If toughened laminate glass is used then it is permissible to have no handrail as long as the following aspects are put into place;

  • The glass used must meet the design load, this will be a; line load, uniformly distributed load and a point load test (detailed within BS 6180:2011.)
  • Manufacturers of glass, have to provide the technical requirements on required glass thickness on meeting the required loadings.
  • Should a panel break and not meet the required criteria then guarding must be fitted immediately.
  • The glass selected must resist the appropriate design load and provide containment.
  • On staircases, where there are three or more steps, a handrail is required to be installed between 900mm and 1000mm.

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