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Side rails on temporary staging


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Hang on there Jon, since Steeldeck themselves refer people to the IStructE guide on TDS it is under those parameters that temporary staging should be managed, not ones that refer to permanent structures such as theatres.


Handrails should be provided to all edges of a stage, except the edge facing the audience, whenever possible. BS EN 12810-1:200310.7 gives two loading criteria for handrails used in work areas only, such as stages and access platforms, where the loads are applied in the most severe location: A limiting deflection of 35mm under a 0.3kN point load applied horizontally; and no breaking or deflection more than 300mm at any point under a 1.25kN point load applied vertically.

There are also several standards for guardrails where there is public access and these are under the section on seating stands (Pp66-68, I think). Some of these standards are met by proprietary handrails from the manufacturer, some are not.


Burger has decided to go with a blanket approach stipulated by a major client, Damian is seeking advice on one specific venue with a variety of uses so none of us can give definitive answers. The newly hazardous areas which the staging introduces, side edges of the temporary structure and how he deals with that, is dependent on many factors all of which lead to some form of compromise. I would think of it as a thrust and act accordingly.


I do miss the gas footlights. That learned 'em when the crinolines went up in flames. ;)


This is more the sort of thing I was after. Steeldeck's manufacturer's guidelines point users towards IStructE's guidelines on temporary demountable structures.


I think:

Handrails should be provided to all edges of a stage, except the edge facing the audience, whenever possible.

is the important line there and will be the basis of any risk assessment relating to hand rails on stage extensions, but unfortunately it is still open to interpretation. In the instances of thrusts and catwalks then all exposed sides of the stage are audience facing so can get away without handrails if risks are properly managed but in the instance of a full width stage extension I guess it's a matter of how wide the seating goes and whether or not the viewing angle becomes acute enough for the sides of the stage to count as audience facing.


When I got home I dug out my book of usefulness and it pointed me towards BS6399 which it would appear manufacturers of staging get the load tables from to make sure their designs conform to the regs. It gives very useful information as to what loads handrails need to conform to but doesn't actually say when and where handrails should be used.


So I think I shall use IStructE's guidelines on when and where to use handrails and make sure that any hand rails that are used conform to BS6399 (which the should do if they come straight from the manufacturer) and then use other measures laid out in the RA to manage the risks of any instances where handrails are not used.


Sorted. Thanks for everyone's input.

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Guard rails or barriers are indeed (or should be...) designed to BS 6180 and BS 6399-1. Sometimes to BS 5395-3, which is also very useful.


Handrails as a unit, however, are always the rails that are set at 900mm, and accompany stairs, and have different loadings - not to be confused with 1100mm guard rails. Although confusingly, the British Standards do occasionally refer to the top rail of a Guard Rail or Barrier as the hand rail! (with the middle rail as the knee rail)

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Handrails should be provided to all edges of a stage, except the edge facing the audience, whenever possible.

I think that is exactly right, the risk assessment should show where handrails are NOT needed, otherwise handrails at all edges.

At the end of the day, there is little to gain and a lot to loose by not having handrails.


And in a broader view that concept can be applied to many situations.

Let the risk assessment show why something shouldn't be done rather than being the reason why something is done.

Think about it! :)

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