Part M Handrail, St Mary's Special School
St Mary’s Special School in Delvin caters for children between the ages of 4 and 18 who have learning difficulties and moderate or severe autism. Pupils are educated and taken care of by a dedicated staff who combine many years of experience.
Safe Disability And Wheelchair Access
St Mary’s required an appropriate handrail to provide safe access around the building to the entrance. Because the route would be frequented by wheelchair users, the handrail would need to not only contain a top and middle rail, but to be smooth and continuous also.
This would make the rail more comfortable for those who are using and depending on it as the rail tubing would be in line with the fittings, leaving no harsh edges.
Handrails For Disabled Access
The main things to look out for when creating a handrail for people with disabilities are:
- The handrail should be smooth and continuous
- The handrail should NOT end abruptly and should instead contain a turn down or D-return
- There should be no points on the handrail that can allow clothes to be snagged on them
- Disabled access handrails should contain a mid-rail at an appropriate height for wheelchair users
Terminating a Handrail Appropriately
You will see from the images that both the wall mounted and ground fixed handrails can follow the above recommendations. The wall mounted rail turns into the wall wherever there is an end point, ensuring that the user will be alerted that the rail has come to an end. This also means that clothing cannot get snagged on the rail end as people pass by, which would otherwise have been a hazard.
We do the same with a freestanding handrail by joining the top and mid rails to form a D-return. The Building Regs state that a handail should be turned downwards at its end for the reasons outlined, and a D-return alows tgis to happen.
Angled Handrail Fittings For Ramps
The nature of Kee Access and Kee Klamp fittings allows for different handrail types can be installed with the minimum of fuss. A Kee Klamp rail works fine in most situations, but a Kee Access rail complies with Part M of the Building Regulations. This includes a one or two railed system, systems for both flat and sloped ground and covering all angles, twists and turns.
Most of the fittings are flexible and can either be rotated to suit the slope(the 518-7 Handrail Bracket), or allow the tube to move between angles within the fitting(the 67- Angled Base Flange). The fittings grub screw(s) allows the tube to be held in place at the right angle.
The Installers - Donaer Construction
Donaer Construction Ltd are based in Mulingar Co Westmeath and complete numerous construction projects to the highest standards, including new builds, extensions, renovations, groundworks, carpentry, painting and decorating, property maintenance and insurance works. View some of their previous work here.
Many thanks to Paul for supplying us with pictures for this project.