The Federal government passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to ensure public facilities are safe and accessible for those with disabilities. ADA sets guidelines and standards for the design and construction of public facilities. One of major requirements set forth by ADA deals with handrails, their design and strength requirements. Handrails make it safe and easier for those with disabilities to move around a building.
ADA has guidelines for the design of the handrails to make it easier for those with disabilities to use the handrails. The handrails can be either square or round as long as the diameter or width of the handrail is between 1 1/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches. The handrails are located between 34 to 38 inches above the finished floor of the elevator and are mounted 1 1/2 inches from the wall of the elevator.
ADA handrails must be strong enough to hold a required amount of force exerted on it. The handrail must be strong enough to hold a person's weight to help them keep their balance while in the elevator while the elevator is operating. The structural stability of an ADA handrail is 250 pounds of force that can be exerted on it.
ADA sets guidelines not just for those with disabilities. The guidelines in place are there to help anyone who uses the public facility. Handrails in elevators are put in place to help people keep their balance while the elevator is in operation. The handrails in an elevator must not interfere with the operation of the elevator or the safety of the occupants while the elevator is in motion.
- Photo Credit elevators on tenth floor image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com
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