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The Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987

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Statutory Instruments

1987 No. 1337

CONSUMER PROTECTION

The Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987

Made

27th July 1987

Coming into force

1st September 1987

Whereas the Secretary of State has, in accordance with section 1(4) of the Consumer Safety Act 1978(1), consulted such organisations as appear to him to be substantially affected by these Regulations and such other persons as he considers appropriate:

And whereas a draft of these Regulations has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament pursuant to section 7(7) of the said Act of 1978:

Now, therefore, the Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 1 of the said Act, hereby makes the following Regulations:—

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987 and shall come into force on 1st September 1987.

2.  In these Regulations —

“bunk bed” means any bed having a sleeping surface which, or any part (including the under-surface) of which, would be 800 millimetres or more vertically above any horizontal surface on which the bed were placed in such a position as would be usual for the purpose of enabling a person to sleep on the bed, and references to “height” in relation to a bunk bed or any part of one shall be construed accordingly;

“mattress” does not include any spring or wire frame intended to support a mattress;

“permissible gap” means —

(a)

in relation to a gap in the sleeping surface of a bunk bed, a gap of not more than 75 millimetres;

(b)

in relation to any other gap in the structure of a bunk bed, a gap of not less than 60 millimetres nor more than 75 millimetres,

where the gap is measured by the method prescribed by the Schedule to these Regulations;

“sleeping surface”, in relation to a bunk bed, means the surface, excluding any mattress or upholstery, intended to support a sleeping person.

3.—(1) A bunk bed shall be so constructed as to prevent any reasonable possibility of any part of the body of a child under six years of age becoming wedged or trapped in any part of the bed’s structure which is at or above the height of any part of the bed’s sleeping surface (including the under-surface) so as to give rise to any risk of death or serious personal injury, including, but without prejudice to the generality of that, any risk of strangulation, suffocation or injury to the neck or spinal column.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1) above and subject to paragraph (3) below, a bunk bed shall be so constructed as to ensure that no gaps, other than permissible gaps, exist at or above the height mentioned in paragraph (1) above—

(a)in the sleeping surface; or

(b)in the head-board; or

(c)in the foot-board; or

(d)in any retaining structure at the side of the sleeping surface; or

(e)between the sleeping surface and any of the components mentioned in subparagraphs (a) to (d) above; or

(f)between any ladder (whether a fixed and permanent part of the bed or designed to be hooked onto the bed) and —

(i)the sleeping surface; or

(ii)any of the components mentioned in subparagraphs (a) to (d) above.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (2) above shall prevent—

(a)the existence in a bunk bed of gaps arising from reasonable manufacturing tolerances; or

(b)the existence of any gap in any retaining structure at the side of the sleeping surface of a bunk bed where the purpose of such a gap is to allow access to that surface by a person intending to sleep on it, provided that any such gap is at least 300 millimetres wide.

4.  No person shall supply, offer to supply, agree to supply, expose for supply or possess for supply—

(a)any bunk bed in respect of which any of the requirements of these Regulations are not satisfied or would not be satisfied if any part of the bed intended to be adjusted were adjusted; or

(b)any collection of components designed or intended to be assembled into a bunk bed if —

(i)that collection is not accompanied by full and clear instructions indicating the manner in which the components are to be assembled; or

(ii)where that collection is accompanied by such instructions, the bed, when assembled in accordance with those instructions, would be a bed of the description referred to in subparagraph(a) above.

F. Maude

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State,

Department of Trade and Industry

27th July 1987

regulation 2

THE SCHEDULEMEASUREMENT OF GAPS

The Apparatus

1.  The apparatus shall be constructed in accordance with the diagram and specifications shown below and shall consist of a cone so constructed as not visibly to distort under the forces applied during the measurement. The angle included between two opposite generating lines on the surface of the cone shall be 30°. Two lines shall be marked continuously round the surface of the cone, one where the diameter of the circular section of the cone is 60 millimetres and the other where the diameter is 75 millimetres. A means (such as a spring balance) shall be attached to the cone in such a way that it can be used to give an accurate indication of an axial force of 100 Newtons.

Method of Measurement

Gaps in the sleeping surface

2.  Any gap in the sleeping surface of a bunk bed shall be measured by inserting the point of the cone into the gap in such a way that its axis of symmetry is perpendicular to the plane which joins the boundaries of the gap. The cone shall be advanced slowly and steadily further into the gap until an axial force of 100 Newtons is indicated, in which condition the points of contact between the surface of the cone and the boundaries of the gap shall lie on the 75 millimetre line marked round the cone or at a position representing a smaller diameter. The measurement shall be taken in as many places in any such gap as may be necessary to determine the most onerous conditions of dimension and distortion of the boundaries of the gap.

Other gaps

3.  Any other gap in the structure of a bunk bed shall be measured by each of the following methods.

  • First, the point of the cone shall be inserted into the gap in such a way that its axis of symmetry is perpendicular to the plane which joins the boundaries of the gap. Without any axial force, and with at least two points of contact between the boundaries of the gap and the surface of the cone, such points of contact shall be on or between the 60 millimetre and 75 millimetre lines marked around the cone. The measurement shall be taken in as many places in any such gap as may be necessary to determine the most onerous condition of dimension of the boundaries of the gap.

  • Secondly, the point of the cone shall be inserted into the gap in such a way that its axis of symmetry is perpendicular to the plane which joins the boundaries of the gap. The cone shall be advanced slowly and steadily further into the gap until an axial force of 100 Newtons is indicated, in which condition the points of contact between the surface of the cone and the boundaries of the gap shall lie on or between the 60 millimetre and 75 millimetre lines marked round the cone. The measurement shall be taken in as many places in any such gap as may be necessary to determine the most onerous conditions of dimension and distortion of the boundaries of the gap.

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations prohibit the supply (including offering or agreeing to supply and exposing or possessing for supply) of bunk beds so constructed as to create, at or above the height of the bed’s sleeping surface, a risk of injury (including strangulation etc.) to a child under six or to allow the sleeping surface and any bars, rails, head-boards, foot-boards etc round it to produce, at the same height, gaps which are not within permissible limits. The method of measuring whether a gap is a “permissible gap” (defined in regulation 2) is set out in the Schedule to the Regulations. A gap in the sleeping surface of a bed is permissible if it is no more than 75 millimetres when measured in accordance with paragraph 2 to the Schedule, and a gap elsewhere in the relevant part of the bed’s structure is permissible if it is not less than 60 millimetres nor more than 75 millimetres when measured in accordance with paragraph 3. The prohibition on supply extends to beds supplied in kit form if the bed is not accompanied by full and clear instructions for assembly or, if assembled in accordance with such instructions, would not comply with the requirements of the Regulations (regulations 2, 3 and 4).

“Bunk bed” is defined in regulation 2.

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