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How to ensure Universal Design and accessibility of the building is well maintained.

In previous updates, OHAC highlighted the importance of embedding Universal Design and accessibility into the operations and day to day management of the building and noted that it is equally as important to the design of the building itself.  For example, it is important to ensure events taking place within the buildings are accessible; Risk assessments take place to identify the health and safety needs of customers with disabilities; When repairs and refurbishments works are taking place, accessibility is addressed and maintaining accessibility features of the building. 

The following section gives some samples areas where accessibility should be checked on a regular basis:

  1. Ensure designated parking bays are reserved for the use of disabled drivers.
  2. Ensure handrails on ramps and circulation routes are free from parked bicycles and other obstructions.
  3. Check that approach to bells, letterboxes, door handles are free of obstruction.
  4. Review the design of glazed manifestations on doors are well maintained and visible in different lighting conditions.
  5. Ensure door mats are recessed or fixed in a manner which does not cause tripping. Review surfaces and ensure fit for purpose.
  6. Assess door closers regularly to ensure they are set at the minimum force needed to shut/open the door.
  7. Ensure stairway finishes (e.g. visual contrasting nosings) are maintained, clean, slip-resistant and are replaced when frayed or worn.
  8. Ensure audible announcements are fully operational within the lift.
  9. Alarm facilities are maintained and any pull cords extend to within 100mm of the floor.
  10. Ensure the visual fire alarm in the accessible WC is tested on a regular basis.
  11. Test Induction loops throughout the building regularly and ensure they are kept in good working order and their locations indicated.
  12. Review signage and ensure it is clear and legible and revised on foot of any alterations to building layout.
  13. Ensure visual contrast is well maintained throughout the building to assist users with visual impairments.
  14. Ensure that contract workers are appraised of their safety duties and responsibilities in advance of commencing any work. Identify if contractor workers have undergone Disability awareness training.
  15. Ensure that procedures are in place for genral cleaning that do not impact on accessibility (e.g. Polish applied to floor surfaces does not reduce slip resistance).

For a full checklist, please do not hesitate to contact one of the team on 01-4151285 or [email protected]