You know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a vital piece of legislation for people living with disabilities. As a business owner, you want your establishment to be welcoming and accessible for everyone. But do you know the details of the ADA well enough to provide the right safety equipment? For example, how much do you know about ADA railing height requirements?
ADA Railing Height Requirements
If you’ve ever designed or remodeled a public space, you know how important the ADA is. You probably also know how specific the ADA is, and how vital it is to meet all of its recommendations. The ADA takes the guesswork out of making spaces accessible, which means you don’t need a lot of expertise to follow it correctly. However, you do need to know the basics in order to make sure you’re doing it right. Let’s talk about ADA railing height requirements, and how your business can be sure it is in compliance.
What Are the ADA Railing Height Requirements?
To install ADA-compliant handrails, you should be aware of the following criteria:
- Handrails are required on stairs, ramps, and any surface with an incline of more than five percent.
- Handrails must be at a consistent, grippable height of between 34 and 38 inches from the ground. Most contractors use the standard 36 inches.
- If it is a building commonly used by children, such as a school, a children’s handrail is also required. This second handrail should be 28 inches from the ground, and installed beneath the adult’s handrail. There should be at least nine inches of clearance between the two sets of handrails to avoid hands or clothing getting caught between them.
- Handrails should be continuous in all areas where they are required.
Why Is the ADA So Specific About Handrails?
You may be wondering why in the world the ADA is so specific about handrails. Can’t most places get by without them? If you’re asking this question, you should know that handrails serve a lot of public safety purposes that are relevant to you:
- Handrails are important for those who have balance or movement issues. Handrails allow those individuals to navigate their way through your business safely. They can also make falls less severe by providing a way for people to catch themselves before impact.
- For those that depend on handrails, falls are a big deal. Even a minor fall can lead to pain, injuries, and all kinds of complications. Falls are also a common hazard for many. For example, did you know that one in four older adults experience a fall every year, and one in five of those victims will experience a serious injury like a broken bone? No wonder preventing falls is so important.
- If you’re reading this article, you probably realize that providing safety equipment at your place of business is the smart and responsible thing to do. Unfortunately, not every business owner has the same understanding that you do. One of the number one cited reasons that people do not use handrails is that handrails are not present, are not installed at a useful height, or are in poor repair. The ADA requires handrails in all publicly accessible spaces to try and encourage business owners to do the right thing.
- If nothing else, following the ADA will help your business avoid serious liability issues should someone living with a disability get injured on your property. In addition to that, failing to comply with the ADA can lead to fines of up to $100,000. Even if nobody ever gets hurt, you literally cannot afford to ignore the ADA.
When it comes to following ADA railing height requirements, you’re better off safe than sorry. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out the ADA-compliant railing systems here at Aluminum Handrail Direct. We can help you take the guesswork out of the process, and make sure you’re meeting all the requirements that you need to.
At Aluminum Handrail Direct, we are committed to providing high-quality aluminum handrails that are durable, maintenance-free, affordable, and attractive. If you have questions about aluminum handrails or if you are searching for a handrail system that fits your needs, call us at 417-409-3179 or 888-518-9890 (toll-free) or visit Aluminum Handrail Direct’s online store today. We offer handrails, wall mounts, mounting screws and anchors, touch-up spray paint, and much more. We look forward to hearing from you!