COMPLIANCE FOR WHEELCHAIR AND WALKING CANE SAFETY
New building works must be designed to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The DDA makes it against the law for public places to be inaccessible to people with a disability.
There are many Standards and Guidelines that set out the design requirements for equal access in public spaces for people with a disability. One set of Standards is AS 1428 Design for access and mobility which applies to new buildings and renovations of existing buildings.
AS 1428 Design for access and mobility, consists of the following parts:
- Part 1: General requirements for access – New building work
- Part 2: Enhanced and additional requirements – Buildings and facilities
- Part 4.1: Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment – Tactile ground surface indicators
- Part 4.2: Means to assist the orientation of people with vision impairment – Wayfinding signs
- Part 5: Communication for people who are deaf or hearing impaired
In public footpaths and walkways, grates are located in areas to intercept, collect and remove runoff to reduce the hazards from surface water causing injuries from slips, trips and falls. Depending on the inlet slot widths and slot orientation, grates can become a hazard for people who use wheelchairs and for people with ambulatory or sensory disability, i.e. trapping wheels/canes in the grate slots.
AS 1428.1:2021 includes, Section 4 Floor or ground surfaces on continuous accessible paths of travel and circulation spaces, with Clause 4.4 Grates which states the following:
“Grates in paths of travel shall be in accordance with the following:
- Circular openings shall be not greater than 13mm in diameter.
- Slotted openings shall be not greater than 13mm wide and not greater than 150mm long and be oriented so that the long dimension is transverse to the dominant direction of travel.
- Linear openings shall be oriented so that the longer dimension is transverse to the dominant direction of travel, except where linear openings are less than 8mm wide. Where linear openings are less than 8mm wide, orientation is optional.”
AS 1428.2-2009 contains Clause 9 Ground and floor surfaces, with sub-clause (c) Gratings, which states:
“If gratings are located in a walking surface, they shall have spaces not more than 13mm wide and not more than 150mm long. If gratings have elongated openings, they shall be placed so that the long dimension is transverse to the dominant direction of travel.”
Note, AS 1428.1:2021 Clause 4.4 (b) is the same as AS 1428.2-2009 Clause 9 (c).
ACO’s Range of Grates
The following tables list ACO’s grates that are wheelchair and walking cane compliant to AS 1428.1 in public footpaths and walkways with consideration of the dominant direction of travel.
If the grates meet AS 1428.1, they are deemed to comply with DDA requirements.
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