While many businesses may not feel the need to focus on accessibility, there is one type of office that requires it. Clinics and medical offices can’t do without. Because patients are often elderly or disabled, having accessible railings is paramount. Fortunately, if your clinic or medical office is in Toronto, you have easier access than anyone to Pro Weld’s rail creation services.
What Type of Railings Are Accessible?
If you’re not well-versed in accessibility, you may be wondering what sets accessible railings apart from others. What is it, exactly, that makes a railing accessible or not?
Easy to Grip
The first sign of an accessible railing is one that is easy to grab on to. For example, stainless steel railings with wide bars are a great choice. These railings provide an easy grip for hands that may struggle or be pained by smaller or more edged bars.
Some examples of railings that are less ideal for gripping are glass and iron railings. Both of these choices look fantastic, but are made more for emergency safety and appearance than for grip functionality. These railings have narrow edges, making them uncomfortable to lean on. Glass railings, being made with a glass pane, are not able to be grabbed and held on to unless they are paired with a mounted bar on the inner side.
Where Should They Go?
The next thing we have to cover is where accessible railings should be placed. Placement truly matters when it comes to accessibility. If you have accessible railings all throughout your building, but not on the stairs to the door, disaster can strike before patients even get inside.
As a general rule, all stairways should have railings on both sides. This provides safety, ensuring no one falls and gets injured. These aren’t just accessible railings, they’re also safety railings. Even young, abled people are able to trip up the stairs or be bumped by someone else and end up falling.
However, to add to accessibility, you should also include a railing up the middle of any stairways that are more than 5 feet wide. This allows people with difficulty traversing stairs to hold on to railings at both sides. It also ensures a grip, should the stairway be crowded or high-traffic. Then, even those forced to travel more toward the middle of the stairway will have something to hold on to.
If your clinic doesn’t have any wheelchair accessibility ramps, you absolutely must rethink your building design. Clinic accessibility is vital, and usually also required by law. In addition to ramps, ramp railings are also a must-have. Railings that line wheelchair ramps do two things.
- They provide a grip for wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users alike. Those in wheelchairs may find it easier to get up a ramp if they can take a break halfway, holding on to a railing while they prepare to finish the slope. Non-wheelchair users with disabilities may use ramps because they are safer for them than stairs. They need the stability of a railing to grip while walking up the ramp. This is true even for abled people using the ramp.
- They provide a safety net for anyone traversing the ramp. Just as with stairs, ensuring no one falls from a ramp is important. This is especially true when considering wheelchair users are even more susceptible to injury from ledges.
Order from Pro Weld
If you’re in the market for accessible railings, Pro Weld is the #1 provider in Toronto. Give us a call if you have questions about what and how to order. We look forward to hearing from you!