Part H5 Safe movement and access
Introduction to this Part
This Part is intended to reduce the likelihood of people being injured when accessing or moving about a building. It does this by setting requirements for the construction of stairways and ramps, slip resistance, and the design and construction of barriers to prevent falls.
The Objective is to provide people with safe access to and within a building.
The Objective is to safeguard people from injury and illness resulting from the creation of hazardous spaces between buildings.
Safety from falling
A building is to provide safe access for people to the services and facilities within.
The space between buildings must not allow hazardous conditions to arise due to accumulation of rubbish that cannot be easily removed.
Space between buildings
Movement to and within a building
So that people can move safely to and within a building—
- walking surfaces must have safe gradients; and
- any stairway or ramp must—
- have suitable handrails where necessary to assist and provide stability to people using the stairway or ramp; and
- have suitable landings to avoid undue fatigue of users; and
- be suitable for safe passage in relation to the nature, volume and frequency of likely usage; and
- have slip-resistant walking surfaces on ramps, and on stairway treads or near the edge of the nosing.
Fall prevention barriers
- 1 m or more—
- from a floor or roof or through an opening (other than through an openable window) in the external wall; or
- due to a sudden change of level within or associated with a building; or
- 2 m or more from a floor through an openable window in a bedroom; or
- 4 m or more from a floor through an openable window not covered by (b).
- continuous and extend for the full extent of the hazard; and
- of a height to protect people from accidentally falling from the floor or roof or through the opening or openable window; and
- constructed to prevent people from falling through the barrier; and
- capable of restricting the passage of children; and
- of strength and rigidity to withstand—
- the foreseeable impact of people; and
- where appropriate, the static pressure of people pressing against it.
The space between buildings must be sufficient to allow access for inspection and maintenance to avoid hazardous conditions arising due to accumulation of rubbish that could—
- bridge termite barriers; or
- harbour vermin; or
- create a fire hazard.
Access for inspection and maintenance
- The test must be carried out on either—
- a prototype of a wire barrier that is identical to that proposed to be installed on site; or
- a wire barrier installed on site.
- The test equipment must consist of the following:
- A horizontally suspended 125 mm diameter, 405 mm long cylinder of 1 mm thick steel having a highly polished 105 mm long cone at one end with a 20 mm diameter flat leading edge to which an eye bolt is fixed.
- A sufficiently flexible horizontal cable with mechanisms capable of applying and measuring a tension of 150 N (or a 15.3 kg weight suspended over a low friction pulley) is to be attached to the eye bolt (see Figure H5V1).
- A mechanism capable of measuring the tension force applied to each wire.
- The test procedure must be as follows:
- Tension the wires, within their safe load, to the same tension in all wires and measure the tensions with a strain indicator.
- horizontal or near horizontal wires, position the cone against a pair of wires at the mid-span between supports, then apply the 150 N tension force to the cone; and
- vertical wires, position the cone against a pair of wires at the mid-span between supporting rails, then apply the 150 N tension force to the cone; and
- near-vertical wires, position the cone against a pair of wires at the widest opening between the wires, then apply the 150 N tension force to the cone.
- Attempt to pull the cone through the gap between the wires under the 150 N load, and—
- increase the tension in the wires and repeat (ii) until such time as the cone will not pull through; or
- if it does not pull through, reduce the tension in the wires and repeat step (ii).
- When the cone is just prevented from pulling through the gap, the wires are at the correct tension in which case the cone is withdrawn and the tension recorded.
- Reduce the tension in the wires and repeat steps (ii) to (iv) twice more, recording the tension in each case after the cone has been removed and then calculate the average of the three tensions as the required tension for each wire.
- For prototype tests of horizontal or near horizontal wires, record the deflection of each wire at the average tension calculated in accordance with (v) when a 2 kg mass is hung at mid-span between supports.
- The test report must include the following information:
- The name and address of the person supervising the test.
- The test report number.
- The date of the test.
- The wire manufacturer’s name and address, and specifications of the wires used in the test including the safe load limit of the wires.
- The construction details of the test specimen, including a description and drawings and details of the components including supports, post or railing spacings and wire spacings.
- For a prototype test, the required tension calculated in accordance with (c)(v).
- For prototype tests of horizontal or near horizontal wires, the deflection measured in accordance with (c)(vi).
The meaning of the phrase "prototype that is identical to that proposed to be installed" is similar to the testing of prototypes for fire resistance. That is the prototype and the installation must be identical with respect to the type of wire, the wire diameter, the number of lays, the wire tension, the post spacing and size, etc.
The test procedure is slightly different for barriers with horizontal or near horizontal wires and vertical wires or near vertical wires (see the test procedures set out in H5V1(c)(ii)).
H5V1(c)(vi) allows measuring deflection of wires to verify that the required tension has been achieved.
New for 2022
Stairway and ramp construction
Barriers and handrails
- any boundary of the allotment, unless that wall is on or abutting that boundary; or
- the external wall of any other building on the same allotment, unless the two buildings are abutting.
Minimum space between buildings