Generally, the risks associated with having unrestricted windows on a ground floor is that a person could climb through the window without permission i.e a burglar. Whereas with higher-level floors, the risks associated with unrestricted windows is falling.
A window restrictor is a safety device which prevents a window from opening more than a fixed distance. The fixed distance is typically set at 100mm, which is to prevent anybody from getting in and out the window. But under what circumstances are window restrictors legally required?
Legally, you must have a 'competent' person carry out a risk assessment to determine whether you need to have window restrictors fitted or not. However, if you do require window restrictors, the HSE advise that ‘windows that are large enough to allow people to fall out should be restrained sufficiently to prevent such falls. The opening should be restricted to 100 mm or less. Window restrictors should only be able to be disengaged using a special tool or key’.
What is a 'competent' person?
A competent person. You must get help from a competent person to enable you to meet the requirements of health and safety law. A competent person is someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly.
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