QBCC responds to pool fencing query

SPASA Queensland

By Alice Richard
Monday, 20 June, 2016

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has responded to a question raised at a SPASA Queensland PSI (Pool Safety Inspector) Sector Group meeting. The group queried whether a fence needs to be able to be measured at 1200 mm in a full arc from the top right-hand corner of the step in figure 2.2(b) of the Standard. (See image below.)

Figure 2.2(b) of the Standard.

Figure 2.2(b) of the Standard.

The QBCC responded as follows:

We have reviewed the standard and concluded that it is silent on this point.

Therefore it appears that provided the 900 mm NCZ (non-climbable zone) is provided for according to the diagram, it is not necessary for there to be a minimum 1200 mm distance between the top RH corner of the step and the intersection where the two fence panels meet.

We took the following approach:

  • The step is an object capable of reducing the effective height of the shorter fence panel, if it were within the additional clear area of the shorter fence panel.
  • When you consider that the additional clear area only extends 900 mm horizontally away from the fence, the step cannot be within the additional clear area of the shorter panel if the 900 mm NCZs are created according to the diagram.

Put another way, it isn’t necessary to insist that the panel extend so far that its edge is at least 1200 mm measured in an arc from the step; rather only far enough to allow for the 900 mm to be measured as per figure (b).

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