Barrier systems (widely referred to as balustrades) are increasingly being used in and around modern buildings. They can be visually stunning, but any new balustrade installation must be designed in such a way to ensure the product is safe and the potential for installation errors minimised. The dangers of an unsafe balustrade system are likely to be significant in financial terms and ultimately can be life threatening.
In response to the industry and purchaser concerns, and following an extensive pilot programme started early last year involving BSI testing partner Lucideon, the BSI Kitemark for protective barrier systems was launched on 14th December 2016. The launch event took place at Lucideons UK head office in Stoke on Trent.
Following an introduction from Ian Chamberlain, BSI Technical Expert, Kitemark certificates were presented to Cooke Brothers, Delta Balustrades and Q Railing, the first three companies to successfully complete quality management assessments and product testing as part of the scheme pilot programme.
The new Kitemark scheme covers balustrade systems constructed from glass and/or metal components and will provide specifiers an increasingly wide choice of well designed and constructed barrier systems, proven to comply with the latest safety requirements. The scheme will also provide an incentive for installers of barriers to purchase complete systems from Kitemark suppliers, rather than a ‘mix and match’ assembly of unproven components.
It is anticipated that the scheme will highlight the need to develop the current UK standards, taking into account requirements in other countries in order to reflect the nature of the industry in 2017. Kitemark holders will be invited to play a key role in this development. In addition to enquiries from UK companies, the scheme is already attracting interest from suppliers in Europe and South Asia.
Read more information on the scheme
Author: Ian Chamberlain
Certification Technical Expert - Construction Products, EMEA