Parks, Landscape & Urban Design

Retaining Walls / Fall Height

  • 1.  Retaining Walls / Fall Height

    Posted 05 January 2012 17:27

    Can anyone point me in the direction of Standards, Building Code Requirements or other policy documents which establish what height of retaining wall in the public domain requires a safety fence to be installed. Fall height being the issue.

    Also any advice regarding the tiering or stepping of the retaining wall and how this affects any fall height considerations.

    I have had a look at AS 4678 Earth Retaining Structures but this was not much help.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Catherine Kinsey
    Co-ordinator Stormwater and Structural Design
    Campbelltown City Council


  • 2.  RE:Retaining Walls / Fall Height

    Posted 06 January 2012 00:03

    Part D2.16 of the Building Code of Australia adopts 1m as the fall height for which edge balustrades should be provided. Part D2.16 also excludes retaining walls from its provisions, unless they are along a path of access to a building.

    AS 2156.2 Section 3 provides a good discussion and guidance on Safety from Falling in relation to outdoor structures.

    Hope this helps.
    Graeme Roberts
    Consulting Engineer
    GR Consulting Engineers


  • 3.  RE:Retaining Walls / Fall Height

    Posted 08 January 2012 19:57
    This is a question asked often but i haven't found a definitive answer.  We have referred to AS 2156.2 - Walking Tracks Infrastructure Design which includes guidelines for fencing based on height and the surface

    Grahame Burton
    Open Space Officer
    Tweed Shire Council



  • 4.  RE:Retaining Walls / Fall Height

    Posted 09 January 2012 22:31
    HI Folks,

    The rules around retaining walls is the same for all safety imposed barriers.

    If a retaining wall or structure forms part of a right of way (eg public access), the requirement under the Building Code of Australia calls for a 1.2m barier to be installed for fall hights greater than 1 meter, regardless of the batter of the retaining wall.

    The barrier construction requirements are the same as for pool fencing.


    Darren Moore
    Asset Management Co-ordinator
    Logan City Council