Guide to Ball Proof Compliance

Ball proof grating is a cornerstone for maintaining safety in the construction, rail and mission-critical industries such as Data Centres (among many others). Ensuring you optimally protect your employees and meet legal obligations means the right ball proof grating must be used for open mesh industrial flooring. There are a few factors to consider when determining which grating size to use to maintain ball proofing compliance. This guide will break down your options and when to use them to remain compliant and best protect your workforce. 

What Is Ball Proof Grating?

Ball proof grating refers to open mesh grating designed to prevent objects from falling through the gaps between the load bearing bars. The grating is referenced by the diameter of the sphere size (ball) that they can prevent from passing through – I.e., the maximum openings in the grating will not permit the passage of either a 35mm or 20mm sphere/ball. Ball proof grating is essential to protecting those working under walkways by preventing objects from falling through and onto people or machinery below. 

What are the Requirements for Ball Proof Grating?

Ball proofing compliance requires meeting British Standards (BS), which are described below. The BS regulations are outlined by European Standards which are a mandatory requirement in the EU. They state, “Floorings of working platforms or walkways shall only have such maximum openings that a ball with a diameter of 35mm cannot fall through. Floorings above a place where people are working, as opposed to occasional passage, shall have such maximum openings that a ball with a diameter of 20mm cannot fall through.”

At Lionweld Kennedy, we pride ourselves on offering steel grating flooring that is fully compliant to both British and European Standards.

Where to Install Ball Proof Grating

Choosing the right size ball proof for your steel walkway grating will depend on factors including location and the risks of falling objects. The higher the risk, the smaller opening your grating will need to be, to reduce the risk of objects falling onto people or machinery below. Permissible openings for open mesh grating come in three levels of ball proofing; 20mm, 35mm and not required (Lionweld Kennedy Utility Grating). 

20mm Ball Proof Grating

20mm ball proof grating (referred to as 20BP) is used on walkways above where others are working. The risk of injury from falling objects is highest above machinery or permanent working areas. Therefore, walkways above these areas require extra safety measures. 20mm grating protects from objects larger than a 20mm diameter sphere. British Standards also require the use of 20mm ball proof grating for walkways that are used for fire escapes.

35mm Ball Proof Grating

Also referred to as 35BP, 35mm ball proof grating is used for walkways that occasionally have people passing underneath and as such, do not require the same level of protection as those above permanent working areas. The risk of an incident from falling objects is lower, and therefore grating with larger openings is permitted. These walkways still need to offer some protection and should not allow the passage of a 35mm diameter sphere.

Utility Grating (no Ball Proof requirement)

Utility grating can be used where there is no risk of people passing beneath. Utility grating has larger openings, permitting objects of larger sizes to pass through and it is therefore crucial that it is only used where there is no risk. Utility grating is commonly used for walkways on shallow trenches or above water channels. They can also be used on ground level to elevate walkways above contaminants. This product is the most sustainable forge welded grating product on the market due to the least amount of steel used within its manufacture. 

New Ball Proofing Standards

Formerly, open mesh grating commonly used 41mm load bar centres. This is no longer compliant as it does not meet the new 35mm ball proofing standards. We strongly advise that you replace this grating type with 35BP if the working area requires it or if Ball Proof compliancy is not required then use Utility grating for a more sustainable solution. 

There are also over complaint products available with 33mm and 30mm specifications. These products are unfit for use where 20mm specifications are needed and contain unnecessary amounts of steel for 35mm requirements, we again strongly advise that you replace both the above options with 20BP or 35BP depending on your application.  

Ball proof grating is a necessity for preventing accidents and maintaining high levels of safety in the workplace. Ensure you remain compliant and use high-quality steel grating that meets the newest standards. Click here to view our UK-manufactured, fully compliant range of steel grating flooring.

If you would like to learn more about Ball Proof compliance, check out Lionweld Kennedy’s Youtube channel here.