Ramp Handrails - Utility

Illustrations dimensioning an ADA ramp with utility handrails with measurements for height and length

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.

What is the amount of edge protection required along a ramp?
To prevent users from slipping from the ramp edge, a continuous 4” | 10.2 cm high curb or lower guardrail must be provided along the ramp.
How should a ramp railing finish?
If handrails are not continuous they must extend at least another 12” | 30.5 cm parallel to the flat surface of the ramp landing. The ends of any handrail should be rounded or returned smoothly to the floor, wall, or post.
How high should a ramp handrail be?

Ramp handrails should have their top surfaces set between 34”-38” | 86.4-96.5 cm above the ramp surface.


*Under Development*


Handrail Height: 34”-38” | 86.4-96.5 cm above ramp surface
Handrail Extensions (Landings): 12” | 30.5 cm
Clear Width (Minimum): 36” | 91.4 cm between closest element (handrail or curb)
Edge Protection (Curb): 4” | 10.2 cm high
Edge Protection (Lower Guardrail): Prevents 4” | 10.2 cm diameter sphere



Drawings include:
Ramp Guardrails - Utility Handrails side elevation, section, side (wheelchair user), section (wheelchair user)

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Ramps are inclined surfaces that join different levels of a space. Commonly used at the entrances of buildings to accommodate level changes, ramps provide building access to wheelchair users. The maximum slope of a ramp is calculated to provide comfortable and easy access to the building.

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