Window Restrictor Survey
Accident data continues to highlight the serious issue of users falling from windows or balconies in many locations – especially in health and social care premises. These often result in fatal or serious injury and there have been several successful prosecutions by HSE following accidents to vulnerable people.
Surveys are now being carried out in response to a Coroner’s Rule 43 letter (Ministry of Justice, 2013) issued to the Chief Medical Officer in England (in November 2012) requesting that action be taken to reduce the risk of falls from windows. A number of incidents have occurred in which patients have fallen from upper floor hospital windows after overcoming the window restrictor. In the most recent incident, a patient died following a fall after forcibly overcoming the window restrictor while in an acutely confused and agitated state following major surgery. Evidence showed that the restrictor could not be relied upon to prevent a determined effort, to force the window open beyond 100 mm.
HBN 00-10 guidance recognises that window restrictors tested to current British standards may be inadequate in preventing a determined effort to force a window open beyond the 100 mm restriction. It is now recommended that restrictors are tested to exceed the standards quoted in BSEN 14351.
Our Window Restrictor Survey involves a thorough inspection of all window furniture including window access.
Typically we survey all of the windows in the given areas and provide a referenced spreadsheet identifying:
- Window Location
- Unique window reference number
- Restrictor fitted?
- Single Restrictor?
- Single Restrictor: Can the restrictor can be disengaged without the use of a special tool or key
- Does it meet the restricted opening cited in HTM 55 (100mm check)?
- Is it sufficiently robust to prevent tampering/over-riding?
- Identify the working order and check they have not been damaged, disconnected or are defeated.
- Recommendation for remedial action.
We list the unique reference number and location of the all windows in either an Excel spreadsheet or Access database that are both fully searchable. Filters can be applied and the data can be updated at any point, this provides an easy way of interrogating the survey information and updating it into the future as the database is maintained or remedial action is carried out.
We can either provide the survey referenced on a Schematic layout or can annotate on your own CAD plans if they are available so that each location is readily identified.