In our experience at Stainless Outfitters Inc., many people have misconceptions about accessibility. For example, many people assume all they need to do to make their building accessible (and to comply with accessibility regulations) is to add a ramp alongside the front steps. However, this is not the case, as a poorly designed ramp can be just as inaccessible as a set of stairs. Not only does the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act have requirements for the width and slope of a ramp, but it also has requirements for ramp rails.
In this article, we’ll go over the key information you need to know about ramp rails to make sure your facility complies with the regulations.
- You Need Ramp Rails on Both Sides – Both sides of the ramp must have ramp rails. This ensures people moving on either side of the ramp, going up or down, can have supports to grasp, and it creates a barrier to prevent people from falling off the slope.
- Ramp Rails Must Be Continuous– A person using the ramp rails must be able to hold onto the rail along the entire length of the ramp, without having to let go. Circular ramp rails must be between 30 and 40 mm in diameter. Non-circular rails can’t measure more than 57 mm in any direction, and the total perimeter must be between 100 and 155 mm.
- Ramp Rails Must Comply with Height Requirements – Your ramp rails must be at least 865 mm and at most 965 mm high, measured from the surface of the ramp.
- Ramp Rails Extend Beyond the Ramp – All ramp rails must extend at least 300 mm horizontally past the entrance and exit of a ramp. This gives the person a chance to pause and adjust their stance or equipment before continuing.
- Ramp Rails Must Provide Adequate Grip Room – Ramp rails must provide at least 50 mm of clearance between the rail and the wall to which it is attached. This ensures the person has enough room to fit their fingers fully around the rail.