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Industrial Handrail Design Standards & Regulations

One of your responsibilities as a business owner is keeping your employees safe, even when they’re going up or down the stairs. Whether you’re looking for guardrails for a factory’s mezzanine floor or handrails for the stairs in an office development, you’ll be pleased to know that the design requirements for industrial steel handrails and similar fittings have been laid out by law.

These are the industrial handrail design standards in the United Kingdom.

Overview of design standards, specifications & regulations in the UK

The safety regulations that apply to industrial handrails exist to ensure the safety of everyone who uses a publicly accessible flight of stairs. These design standards, specifications, and regulations are included under Section K of the Building Regulations, as well as by British Standards BS6180:2011 (guard rails/balustrades) and BS6399-1:1996 (loadings).

Handrails are required

You may be wondering whether you really need a handrail at all. The answer is yes. In all applications and cases where commercial premises are concerned, some form of handrail is required on all staircases when levels comprise upwards of three risers. Not all staircases are constructed equal, so the staircase you want to enhance may affect the steel handrail you require. Ensure you know the staircase’s specifications before making any purchasing decisions.

Industrial handrail design standards also require that handrails are fitted on both sides of ramps that have an incline of 600mm or more. The rails must not obstruct the use of the ramp, ensuring easy access for wheelchair users.

Where handrails should be positioned

According to the industrial handrail regulations in the UK, the height of the handrail should be between 900mm and 1,000mm of the floor or pitch of the staircase. If the handrail is to be positioned away from the wall, the handrail must sit 75mm away from the wall to allow people to grip the rail with ease. You can accommodate people with disability by providing lower line handrails that sit 600mm above the platform level. Whether you install one or more industrial handrails, they must continue to the bottom step of the staircase. The ends of the handrails should not protrude into access routes.

The number of handrails required

The number of handrails required depends on the width of the staircase. According to the Building Regulations’ industrial handrail specifications, you only need one handrail on one side of the stairs on staircases that are less than 1 metre wide. On staircases more than 1m wide, you need to install handrails on both sides of the staircase.

Steel handrail colour and shape

The colour and shape of the steel handrails you choose for your industrial premises are also covered by the Building Regulations. In order to comply with the industrial handrail requirements in the UK, the handrail must not be highly reflective, and it should contrast with its surroundings.

The handrail surface should be slip-resistant, and it should not become excessively hot or cold to touch in locations subject to extreme temperatures. You can ensure this by choosing handrails made from metals with relatively low thermal conductivity. Make sure the handrail ends are finished in a way that reduces the risk of clothing being caught on them. Downturned ends are a common way of doing this.

Meeting your steel handrail requirements

There is much to take into account when installing steel handrails on your industrial or business premises. Choose from a large range of standard railings and handrail designs that comply with all industrial handrail regulations in the UK at Pulman Steel. Safe, strong, and structurally sound, our cost-effective range is ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Posted by Verkeer
20th September 2023

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