When considering your steel or GRP grating, 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 compliant with the British and European Standards for ball proof requirements.

When not compliant with the ball proof requirements, as outlined in the British and European standards (BS4592-0:2006+A1:2012 and BS EN ISO 14122 – 1:2016 respectively), grated flooring can pose a risk to traffic passing underneath as a result of 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 compliant variants of ball proof grating?

There are 3 variants of open mesh flooring that comply with the British and European standards:

  • 20 millimetre – this is the smallest opening. Suitable for walkways in constant use with regular traffic  underneath, e.g., raised platforms, landings, walkways, staircases and fire escapes.
  • 35 millimetre – suitable for walkways in occasional use with occasional traffic passing beneath, e.g., platforms, landings, walkways, and stairs.
  • Non ball proof – this is only suitable for walkways below head height where traffic cannot pass 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.


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. Compliant flooring is essential for providing a safe and secure walkway suitable for high levels of foot traffic. Smaller openings (20mm) in the mesh increase the also strength of the steel grating due to the additional load bearing bars.

Not only does this support those using the platform or staircase, but it also increases the safety of anyone working underneath as the mesh size is smaller. The smaller the openings between the grating, the lower the risk of large objects falling through the gaps and causing harm.


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. Falling objects can cause serious injury and even be fatal to those passing underneath, so compliance with ball proof requirements is essential. 

Ball proofing does more than just lower the risk of falling objects, it also:

  • Improves the level of protection for traffic underneath
  • Increases the strength of the steel grating panels (20mm)
  • Provides greater safety and security


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. The steel grating manufacturer should provide an accurate mesh size, indicating the level of ball proof the steel grating complies with, along with a detailed and accurate installation plan. Choosing a steel grating provider who follows the requirements for ball proof flooring set out in the British and European Standards is essential for ensuring the safety of traffic underneath your walkway, platform or stairs.


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. 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 stairs to your specifications. This will guarantee that every aspect of your steel grating is at the correct level of ball proofing to provide maximum safety.

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