There is more to commercial building accessibility than simply installing a ramp outside your front door. It’s all well and good knowing that wheelchair users can gain access to your premises, but what about when they’re trying to get around? What’s more, not everyone who suffers from reduced mobility are wheelchair users.
There is a range of things you can do to ensure your commercial premises are accessible as possible, including installing platform lifts and widening doors and hallways, but why do you need to?
It is a legal requirement for commercial buildings to be designed so that they can be entered and navigated safely, based on regulations set down by the European Union (as well as Section 4.2 of the Technical Handbook (Scotland) 1985).
Most of these regulations relate to people who are able-bodied, but a number of them do also deal with issues affecting the disabled.
All of the commercial platform lifts we install are done so adhering to these strict regulations.
Read more about platform lifts and Building Regulations here.
DISABILITY & EQUALITY REGULATIONS
The Equality Act, which was brought in largely as a replacement for the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), is intended to provide more rights to disabled people in a variety of areas – particularly employment.
Employers are obliged by the Equality Act to make suitable provisions and/or adjustments to physical features that could hinder a disabled person’s access to areas of the building. Lifting platforms or ramps can be the ideal solution to these issues, while lifts can also be the difference between a wheelchair user being able to access a certain floor of the building or not.
Read more about the Equality Act and platform lifts here.
HEALTH & SAFETY
It should always be your aim to make your workplace as safe as possible, and stairwells are often a source of slips, trips and falls that can lead to serious injuries. It is also dangerous to carry items up and down stairs, and it is for this reason that lifts are such an essential part of a commercial building.
Of course, to ensure they are accessible to wheelchair users you need to ensure that your lifts are large enough, as narrow two or three person units will not necessarily fulfil your obligations under the Equality Act.
To find out more about Gartec platform lifts, including how they can help to make your commercial premises much more accessible to everyone, just get in touch.