Three Things You Don’t Want To Hear About Your Handrail

With building codes and standards determining when, where, and how and handrail should be installed, there’s always a potential that you might not meet some requirement.

Here are three things you don’t want to hear about your handrail.

1. Glass railing with LumenrailIt’s too big

Handrail graspability is referenced in all of the building codes and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Typically, they call for handrails to be between 1-1/4″ and 2″ diameter or provide “equivalent graspability” which is a maximum cross-section of 2-1/4″ with a perimeter between 4″ and 6-1/4″. In residential construction, a Type II definition applies which permits the use of larger banister sections which provide a pinch grip.

2. It’s not the right height

The building codes and ADA are in synch of the minimum height requirements for handrail — 34″ to 38″ above the nosing. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes handrail to be between 30″ and 38″ depending on the application. Also note that the ADA recommends that where children are the primary users of a facility, a secondary handrail be placed at 28″ with a minimum 9″ clearance between it and the primary handrail.

3. It’s too flimsy

Handrail must meet a load requirement of either a 200 lb concentrated load or a 50 lb/ft uniform load. While an inspector doesn’t have the ability to test a handrail in the field, they do have the ability to observe the railing in use and determine if it is “safe”. Further, don’t be surprised if the inspector requests and engineering report or test data proving that the system meets the load requirements.

Wagner can help you avoid all of these issues be making sure you select the right products for your application. Contact Wagner with your questions.

Building on a 165 year legacy, Wagner is the go-to resource for metal fabricating and architectural railing expertise. More than just a manufacturer and worldwide supplier, our niche focus and local market knowledge enable us to innovate so we can better adapt to customer needs.

Accommodating to work with, Wagner lives to collaborate. Our customers rely on us to provide the best possible solution for any installation. Responsive to answering calls and quick to solve problems, we remain an active partner throughout projects and in building long-lasting relationships. As proud and knowledgeable metal workers, we’re passionate about helping our customers find a better, faster, and higher overall value solution. As the experts in code requirements, we work with you to help ensure your specifications and installations meet or exceed them, worldwide.


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