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Commercial handrails are more integral to a commercial building than one might think. They provide support for people who have trouble walking and also prevent fall hazards. So they must be installed correctly according to OSHA Guidelines. Unfortunately, many mistakes in handrail installation and repair have occurred. Because of this, many injuries have happened, and subsequently, injury costs piled up.
According to the National Safety Council, “The total cost of work injuries in 2019 was $171.0 billion. This figure includes wage and productivity losses of $53.9 billion, medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses of $59.7 billion. This total also includes employers’ uninsured costs of $13.3 billion, including the value of time lost by workers other than those with disabling injuries who are directly or indirectly involved in injuries, and the cost of time required to investigate injuries, write up injury reports, and so forth.” As a result, keeping building occupants safe means building managers need to know the most common commercial handrail mistakes and how to prevent them.
We’ve talked about giving handrails the proper attention due to their importance in commercial buildings. However, some contractors choose to install the railings themselves, which can lead to them being installed incorrectly. To ensure it’s done right in the first place, hire an expert who specializes in handrails.
Another commercial handrail mistake is installing them with inaccurate measurements. All railings must adhere to OSHA guidelines, but the size of railings will vary depending on intended use and location. Inaccuracies can occur when trying to measure them. Building contractors must understand the requirements for different railings before getting them installed.
Depending on the structure, the spacing between the railing and wall differs based on load-bearing requirements. If there are discrepancies in the rail-to-wall spacing, the railing in question may require a repair or replacement by an expert.
Railings come in various types of material, and depending on the environment, certain substances are more suitable than others. However, using the wrong material for the railing often leads to damages like rust or corrosion. If this is the case, it’s best to get it replaced but the next time you do, use the proper materials.
Another common commercial handrail mistake is not securing the handrails properly. Installers must ensure that rails are firmly attached to the surface to withstand varying degrees of pressure and prevent falls. If a railing is not secure, an expert can repair it.
Everything that goes into a building needs the appropriate care, including commercial handrails. Failing to clean up after installation or repairs is another commercial handrail mistake and one that can become a dangerous fire hazard for patrons and employees alike. Ensure that workers remove all excess materials and tidy the area and that the railing itself is clean and functional.
Handrails are supposed to go across the surface where they are attached. A gap along the surface can prove fatal to people using it to maintain balance. Continuous handrails also help preserve the integrity of the railing so that it lasts longer. If you find that a commercial handrail is not continuous, have an expert install it correctly. Be sure to measure the gap between the rails, and note the material so that an expert can install the appropriate one.
Handrails are not graspable for various reasons, whether it’s wear and tear or environmental factors. Be sure that all railings are fortified and are appropriate for their locations. And make sure that the rails are not slippery when pressure is applied to them.
Commercial handrail mistakes can be a hindrance to the overall function of a commercial building. But with the right experts, they can be avoided, provided building owners and managers know what the most common mistakes are in the first place. Request a consultation with The Valcourt Group to learn more about how your building can increase value and safety with an expert in commercial handrails.