Approved Document K - Protection from falling, collision and impact

Protection from falling, collision and impact are covered within this document. This includes designing staircases, ladders, ramps, guarding and vehicle barriers in and around all types of buildings. There is also a requirement for protection from collision with opening windows by guarding and warning surfaces.

Download current Approved Document KApproved Document K

PDF file: 4.30MB, 68 pages

2013 edition: Valid from 6 April 2014

Quick links

The requirements in this edition of Approved Document K are as follows:

K1 - Stairs, ladders and ramps
Stairs, ladders and ramps shall be so designed, constructed and installed as to be safe for people moving between different levels in or about the building.

Limits on application
Requirement K1 applies only to stairs, ladders and ramps which form part of the building.

K2 - Protection from falling
(a) Any stairs, ramps, floors and balconies and any roof to which people have access, and
(b) any light well, basement area or similar sunken area connected to a building,
shall be provided with barriers where it is necessary to protect people in or about the building from falling.

Limits on application
Requirement K2(a) applies only to stairs and ramps which form part of the building.

K3 - Vehicle barriers and loading bays
(1) Vehicle ramps and any levels in a building to which vehicles have access, shall be provided with barriers where it is necessary to protect people in or about the building.
(2) Vehicle loading bays shall be constructed in such a way, or be provided with such features, as may be necessary to protect people in them from collision with vehicles.

Limits on application
None

K4 - Protection against impact with glazing
Glazing, with which people are likely to come into contact whilst moving in or about the building shall:
(a) if broken on impact, break in a way which is unlikely to cause injury; or
(b) resist impact without breaking; or
(c) be shielded or protected from impact.

Limits on application
None

K5 - Additional provisions for glazing in buildings other than dwellings

Protection from collision with open windows etc.
K5.1 (1) Provision shall be made to prevent people moving in or about the building from colliding with open windows, skylights or ventilators.

Manifestation of glazing
K5.2
Transparent glazing, with which people are likely to come into contact while moving in or about the building, shall incorporate features which make it apparent.

Safe opening and closing of windows etc.
K5.3
Windows, skylights and ventilators which can be opened by people in or about the building shall be so constructed or equipped that they may be opened, closed or adjusted safely.

Safe access for cleaning windows etc.
K5.4
Provision shall be made for any windows, skylights, or any transparent or translucent walls, ceilings or roofs to be sfaely accessible for cleaning.

Limits on application
Requirements K5.1 - K5.3 do not apply to:
(a) dwellings

Requirement K5.4 does not apply to:
(a) dwellings; or
(b) any transparent or transucent elements whose surfaces are not intended to be cleaned.

K6 - Protection against impact from and trapping by doors
(1) Provision shall be made to prevent any door or gate:
(a) which slides or opens upwards, from falling onto any person: and
(b) which is powered, from trapping any person.
(2) Provision shall be made for powered doors and gates to be opened in the event of a power failure.
(3) Provision shall be made to ensure a clear view of the space on either side of a swing door or gate.

Limits on application
Requirement K6 does not apply to:
(a) dwellings, or
(b) any door or gate which is part of a lift.

Archived copies of Approved Document K

Download Approved Document K 1998 edition incorporating 2000 amendmentsApproved Document K - 1998 edition incorporating 2000 amendments

PDF file: 1.43MB, 20 pages

Valid from 1 January 2001 until 6 April 2013

The requirement in this edition was:
K1 - Stairs, ladders and ramps
K2 - Protection from falling
K3 - Vehicle barriers and loading bays
K4 - Protection from collision with open windows, skylights and ventilators
K5 - Protection against impact from and trapping by doors


Download Approved Document K 1998 editionApproved Document K - 1998 edition

PDF file: 2.17MB, 24 pages

Valid from 1 January 1998 until 1 January 2001

The requirements in this edition were:
K1 - Stairs, ladders and ramps
K2 - Protection from falling
K3 - Vehicle barriers and loading bays
K4 - Protection from collision with open windows, skylights and ventilators
K5 - Protection against impact from and trapping by doors


Approved Document K 1992 editionApproved Document K - 1992 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 1 June 1992 until 1 January 1998

The requirement in this edition was:
K1 - Stairs, ladders and ramps
K2 - Protection from falling
K3 - Vehicle barriers


Approved Document K 1988 amendmentsApproved Document K - 1988 amendments

No download currently available

Valid from February 1988 until 1 June 1992

Amendments to the 1985 edition of Approved Document K


Approved Document K 1985 editionApproved Document K - 1985 edition

No download currently available

Valid from 11 November 1985 until February 1988

The requirement in this edition was:
K1 - Stairs, ladders and ramps
K2 - Protection and vehicle barriers


Quick links to other Approved Documents

The regulations cover all aspects of construction and are constantly reviewed. The guidance documents referred to as 'Approved Documents' contain practical ways and explanations of how to comply with the functional requirements of the Building Regulations.

These 'Approved Documents' are separated into 20 parts:

  • Part A - Structure
  • Part B (Volume 1) - Fire safety (Dwellings)
  • Part B (Volume 2) - Fire safety (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • Part C - Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture
  • Part D - Toxic substances
  • Part E - Resistance to the passage of sound
  • Part F - Ventilation
  • Part G - Hygiene
  • Part H - Drainage and waste disposal
  • Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
  • Part K - Protection from falling, collision and impact
  • Part L1A - Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings
  • Part L1B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing dwellings
  • Part L2A - Conservation of fuel and power in new buildings other than dwellings
  • Part L2B - Conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings other than dwellings
  • Part M (Volume 1) - Access to and use of buildings (Dwellings)
  • Part M (Volume 2) - Access to and use of buildings (Buildings other than dwellings)
  • Part P - Electrical safety - Dwellings
  • Part Q - Security - Dwellings
  • Part R - Physical infrastructure for high-speed electronic communications networks
  • Regulation 7 - Materials and workmanship