(Heath, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
bother about glazing?
Since 1975 the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) has required
employers,the self employed and certain people who have control over
workplaces to ensure, so far asis reasonably practicable, the health
and safety of anyone who may be affected by their work activities. So
if glazing constitutes a risk, reasonably practicable measures need
to be taken todeal with it.
The HSWA does not specifically mention glazing, but on 1 January 1993
the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 came into
force to implement the EC Workplace Directive. Regulation 14 includes
requirements for glazing which make explicit those that are implicit
in the HSWA. The regulations apply to a wide range of workplaces including
factories, offices, shops, schools, hospitals, hotels and places of
entertainment. They do not apply to domestic premises used for work,
or to construction sites. They have applied to new workplaces from 1
January 1993 and they will apply to all workplaces from 1 January 1996.
The duty to comply with the regulations will usually fall to the employer.
However, people other than employers may be duty holders under the regulations
if they have control of a workplace to
any extent; such as owners and landlords of buildings used as workplaces.
Depending upon the tenancy agreement, particularly of a multi-occupied
building, the owner, as opposed to individual employers, may be the
duty holder responsible for complying with the requirements.
Regulation 14 requires
The Regulation requires that every window or other transparent or translucent
surface in a wall, partition, door or gate should, where necessary for
reasons of health or safety, be of a safety material or be protected
against breakage of the transparent or translucent material; and be
appropriately marked or incorporate features to make it apparent.
the duty holder needs to do
The regulation only expects action "where necessary for reasons
of health or safety". So you need to assess every window or other
transparent or translucent surface in a wall, partition, or door or
gate to establish whether there is a risk of anyone being hurt if people
or objects come into contact with it, or if it breaks.
there is no risk, no further action is required. If there is a risk
then action will be necessary to comply with the regulation to:
· prevent people
or objects coming into contact with the glazing, or
· upgrade it so that if it breaks, it breaks safely, and
· mark large expanses of glazing in some way so that people know
it is there.
The assessment needs to take into account all relevant factors such
as the location of the glazing, the activities taking place nearby,
the volume of traffic and pedestrians, and any previous experience of
incidents. Glazing in some locations may be a higher risk, such as:
· in doors and gates, and door and gate side panels;
· where any part of the transparent or translucent surface is
at shoulder level or below;
· in windows, walls and partitions, where any part of the transparent
or translucent surface is at waist
· level or below.
What needs to be done will depend on the extent of the risk in individual
circumstances. You may need to:
· reorganise traffic routes (either for people or vehicles) to
avoid the risk of glazing being broken;
· put up suitable barriers or screens to prevent people or vehicles
coming into contact with the glazing.
· The size or strength of the barrier or screen will depend on
who, or what, needs to be kept away from the glazing;
· modify the glazing to reduce the risk of injury eg, by applying
a safety film which prevents it shattering
· in a dangerous manner, or by marking it to prevent people bumping
· limit the area of glazing;
· replace the glazing with a safety material.
Some examples of safety
· materials which are inherently robust such as polycarbonates
or glass blocks; or
· glass which if it breaks, breaks safely, ie glass which breaks
in a way that does not result
· in large sharp pieces; or
· ordinary annealed glass which meets the following thickness
Nominal thickness Maximum size
8 mm 1.1 m x 1.1 m
10 mm 2.25 m x 2.25 m
12 mm 3 m x 4.5 m
15 mm Any size