Utility ramp handrails are common all-in-one safety components used along any accessible ramp that typically provide user assistance and protection from falling off a ramp. As free-standing elements, utliity handrails must double as both an assistive handrail and a guardrail that prevents users from accessing the edge of the ramp. For edge protection, utility handrails must include either curbs or barriers at a minimum of 4” (10.2 cm) high along the ramp edge, or an integrated parallel bar at the bottom of the handrail that would restrict the passage of a 4” (10.2 cm) diameter sphere.
Handrails along both sides of a ramp are required on any ramp system with a rise greater than 6” (15.2 cm) or a horizontal run greater than 72” (182.9 cm). The top grippable surface of any ramp handrail must be set at a height between 34”-38” (86.4-96.5 cm) above the ramp surface and a minimum clear width of 36” (91.4 cm) must be provided between handrails. In situations where a handrail is not continuous, handrails must extend at least another 12” (30.5 cm) parallel to the flat surface of the ramp landing. Inner handrails on a switchback or turned ramp must always be continuous. The ends of any handrail should be rounded or returned smoothly to the floor, wall, or post.