AUST Hendry building surveying consultants advise that the 2009 edition of AS 1428.1 provides additional options for the terminations of handrails at stairs and ramps for disability access under the Premises Standards (Building Code of Australia).
An extension of the handrail at the top and bottom of the stairs and ramps is still required, however now there are different options available for the treatment at the end of the handrails for ramps and stair handrails in AS 1428.1-2009 such as:
- Handrail turned through 180 degrees
- Handrail turned through 180 degrees and returned to the end post
- Handrail turned down and back to the floor at the end post
- Handrail turned down through 90 degrees to the floor; or
- Handrail turned horizontally through 90 degrees to the wall.
The requirement for the protrusion of the handrail extensions, particularly into a transverse path of travel could create a hazard for people unfamiliar with the location of the stair handrails.
The provision of the additional options for the treatment of the handrail extension under the 2009 edition of AS 1428.1 therefore now allows a suitable handrail design to reduce the risk of possible injuries from the protruding handrail whilst maintaining compliant access for people using the stair.