When considering your steel or GRP grating system, knowing what is considered safe is crucial. Walkways above head height can pose a risk to those passing or working underneath if they aren’t made in line with the proper procedures to ensure it is safe for use.

When not compliant with the ball proof requirements, as outlined in the British and European standards (BS4592-0:2006+A1:2012), grated flooring can pose a risk to those passing underneath from falling objects. Depending on your requirements, there are specific ball proofing measurements your steel grating must comply with to eliminate the risk of falling objects on those walking beneath. So, what makes steel grating safe for overhead use? And what are the dangers of insufficient ball proofing?


Ball Proof Compliance Explained

All our grated flooring products – whether steel or GRP – must be measured in line with ball proof compliance guidelines to determine where they are safe to use. These British Standards (BS) regulations are mandatory for preventing injury caused by falling objects. Ball proof compliance refers to the size of objects that can pass through the openings in the mesh grating. The level of ball proofing required depends on where the steel grating is installed and what it is used for. This legal requirement has been put in place to ensure the safety of those passing underneath overhead walkways.

What are the 3 Levels of Ball Proof Compliance

There are 3 standards of ball proofing for open mesh flooring in the UK and EU:

  • 20 millimeter – this is the smallest opening. Suitable for walkways in constant use with regular traffic or workers underneath, e.g., raised platforms, landings, walkways, staircases, and fire escapes.
  • 35 millimeter – suitable for walkways with occasional foot traffic both on and beneath, with nobody working below, e.g., raised platforms, landings, walkways, and staircases.
  • No limit – this is only suitable for walkways below head height with no passing traffic underneath, e.g., access, shelving, walkways, and fencing.

What Are the Requirements?

The level of protection required for steel open mesh grating will depend on the height at which the walkway is installed and the kind of traffic passing below. According to BS 4592-1:2006, Part 0, Clause 5, ball proof compliance must be adhered to in order to provide adequate protection. Steel mesh flooring must provide a safe access route for the pedestrian traffic on the walkway whilst protecting anyone walking underneath. The grating manufacturer should provide a complete analysis of the


Why is Ball Proofing Important for Working at Height?

Working at height is one of the biggest hazards in the workplace. It is the leading cause of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Many of these incidents are caused by platforms that need more strength to support the weight on top. Ball proofing is essential for providing a sturdy and secure walkway suitable for high levels of foot traffic. Smaller openings (20mm) in the mesh increase the strength of the steel grating.

Not only does this support those using the platform or staircase, but it also guarantees the safety of anyone working underneath. The smaller the openings between the grating, the lower the risk of objects falling through the gaps and causing harm. This is essential if you want to reduce the risk of working at height-related injuries in your business.


What Are the Health & Safety Benefits of Ball Proofing?

There are many benefits to ball proofing for many different industries. Industrial settings that require working at height mean there is a greater risk of heavy objects falling. The risk of these falling objects can cause serious injury and even be fatal to those passing underneath, so ball proof compliance must be followed. 

Ball proofing does more than just lower the risk of falling objects. It is essential for:

  • Improving the level of protection for traffic underneath
  • Increasing the strength of the steel grating panels
  • Providing greater safety & security for the user


The Dangers of Poor Ball Proofing

If the proper procedures are not followed to identify the safest ball proofing level for the walkway location, this could lead to accidents. It is crucial to ensure that the steel grating manufacturer has provided the level of ball proofing for each panel of open mesh grating, along with a detailed and accurate installation plan suitable for the type of traffic. If you fail to follow these procedures, there is a high risk of workplace injury, either from falling objects or unstable walkways. Choosing a steel grating provider who follows ball proofing standards is essential for ensuring the safety of those using or passing underneath your walkways.


Finding the Right Level of Ball Proofing For Your Requirements

Depending on the application of your steel mesh grating will determine the level of ball compliance you require. Managing the risk of falling objects is essential in any workplace, mainly when working at different levels is needed. Those working on a raised platform or walkway must be secure and the platform strong enough to bear the weight. Those working underneath the walkway must also be safe from falling objects. Working with a trusted and accredited steel grating provider ensures that your walkways are ball proof, compliant, and securely installed.

Here at Lionweld, we design and install access flooring and staircases to your bespoke specifications. This will guarantee that every aspect of your steel grating is at the correct level of ball proofing to provide maximum safety.