How to ensure handrail compliance

handrail compliance checklist

There is an estimated 11 million disabled people living in Great Britain, that’s around 18% of the overall population…

There are clear regulations in place that highlight the responsibility of building owners, architects and contractors to overcome any physical barriers that may prevent disabled access. This includes providing suitable handrails on all external stairways and ramps. We decided to summarise some of the main rules that need to be addressed in order to achieve handrail compliance.

 

What is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)?

The Disability Discrimination Act, or DDA for short, was created back in 1995. However, later it was deemed crucial to enforce the issue further and so was superseded by the Equality Act 2010. This covers the points first addressed in the DDA with regards to protecting people from discrimination both in the workplace and in wider society. Providing suitable handrail facilities falls under the requirements of these regulations.

 

Building Regulations Part M: 2006

Access to public and commercial buildings is addressed in detail under the Building Regulations Part M: 2006. This states that all public and commercial building owners have to provide non-discriminatory handrails and balustrades on stairways and ramps, and outlines the precise requirements that are needed for full compliance. We have summarised the key requirements below:

 
Placement
On access ramp gradients from 2 through to 5 degrees, handrails need to be positioned on both sides or centrally for a wide path to allow the user to choose which arm to use for support. For ramps that are longer than 2 metres handrails must be installed on both sides and for wide flights handrails should be used to divide it up into channels. On stairways that consist of 2 or more flights separated by landings, where possible handrails should be continuous throughout.

 
Height
The regulation specifies that handrail heights on all building stairways and ramps do not discriminate against any disability group. The vertical height to the top of the upper handrail from the pitch line of the surface of a ramp or flight of steps is between 900mm and 1000mm.

 

 
Length
Where possible handrails should extend 300mm beyond the top and bottom of the ramp or staircase, to enable easy descent without risking obstruction or clothing getting caught.

 
Diameter
Handrails should be circular or oval for ease of grip and the outside diameter of the tube should be between 40-45mm.

 
Slip-resistant and ‘not cold to the touch’
Particularly in parts of the country that experience harsh winter weather conditions, external metal handrails can become extremely cold and slippery. This may lead to people being reluctant to use the handrail or involuntarily letting go which both represent a safety hazard. It is therefore advised that handrails are powder coated so that they are ‘not cold to the touch’.

 
Contrast with surroundings
The handrails must contrast visually with the surroundings without being too reflective to increase visibility.

 

 

A DDA Handrail System you can rely on…

The Ezi Klamp DDA Handrail System is used extensively by local authorities, builders and contractors nationwide. It enables contractors and specifiers to satisfy the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and Building Regulations Part:M 2006 while also meeting customer demands regarding aesthetics and cost effective solutions.

This handrail system is manufactured to the highest standard and can be delivered straight to your site in kit form, complete with full fitting instructions, or alternatively we can offer a full site survey and carry out installation for you.

Features of the Ezi Klamp DDA Handrail System:

  • Smooth and continuous handrail
  • Polyester powder-coated to contrast with surroundings
  • ‘Not cold to the touch’ feel
  • Comprises of simple, individual components
  • Diameter of 42mm
  • Easily assembled without welding or specialist equipment

 

Why not get in touch with us today to discuss your handrail requirements? Give us a call on 0117 970 2420 or click here to fill out our online enquiry form.

If you would like more information on the regulations mentioned, please click here for the official Equality Act 2010 and Building Regulations Part: M.