The new house I purchased from Bryant has a terraced garden. The terraces have drops of over 2 metres and no fencing or handrailing is provided around these areas nor are there any handrails on the steps up to the higher terrace levels. I believe this is in breach of the HSE rules regarding unprotected drops of over 1.8 m. What would your opinion be of this. Should Bryant provide suitable handrailing to prevent falls from these terraces?



Hi Mark,

The 2m rule applies to construction workers working at heights, for new homes it is less, so the answer is 'yes'.

From NHBC Regualtions:
9.2 - S7 Retaining structures and steps shall be
adequately guarded and allow safe use
Items to be taken into account include:
(a) guarding and handrails
Guarding should be provided where:
• structures are retaining land more than 600mm
high to which people have access, or
• a path is adjacent to a vertical difference in level of
more than 600mm, or
• the ground adjacent to the path falls away at an
angle of more than 30º from the horizontal, or
• the total rise of a flight of steps exceeds 600mm.
A handrail should be provided.
The guarding should be at least 1100mm high, not
readily climbable by children and a 100mm sphere
should not be able to pass through any openings in
the guarding.