What is Regulation 14?
Regulation 14 states that;
Every window or other transparent or translucent surface in a wall or partition and every transparent or translucent surface in a door or gate shall, where necessary for reasons of health and safety:
- be of safety material or be protected against breakage of the transparent or translucent material;
- be appropriately marked or incorporate features so as, in either case, to make it apparent.
Why is Regulation 14 Important?
Since 1975 the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) (1974) has required employers, the self employed and certain people who have control over workplaces to ensure, so far as is 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 to deal with it.
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 all 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.
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.
How does Regulation 14 affect me?
The regulation expects action “where necessary for reasons of health or safety”. A survey must therefore be undertaken 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.
If there is no risk, no further action is required. If there is a risk then action will be necessary to comply with the regulation. You will be required to:
- Reduce the likelihood of glass breakage occurrence by increasing glass visibility.
- Reduce the effects of glass breakage when it does occur by ensuring that the glass breaks safely.
Failing to meet Health and Safety regulations can result in severe penalties.
Assessing the risk
The assessment needs to take into account all factors that may increase the risk of glass breakage.
For every pane, we must assess;
- The location of the glazing (some locations are at higher risk of impact than others)*
- The nature of the activity taking place nearby (some activities increase the risk of impact)
- The volume of traffic (this increases the risk of impact)
- Any previous experience of incidents (if it often breaks, whatever the reason, there is a risk it will break again)
*We are given additional guidance on locations that are often at higher risk of breakage. These areas are referred to as universal “critical locations”, and we are asked to pay particular attention to them when conducting the full assessment.