What Makes a Wheelchair Ramp DDA Complaint?


What Makes a Wheelchair Ramp DDA Complaint?

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 made it compulsory for all service providers and businesses open to the public to take steps to ensure that they provided access to people physically challenged people.

Specifically, the act stated that in cases where a building had a feature that made it impossible for physically challenged individuals to gain entry, the service provider had a duty to take steps to either:

  • Have the feature removed in its entirety
  • Alter the feature so that it no longer posed this problem
  • Provide a way to avoid this feature or
  • Provide an alternative method of ensuring that the service was available to the physically challenged.

Service providers that were included in the scope included hotels, banks, shops, schools, and cinemas.

Many service providers chose to provide auxiliary aids to make it possible for the physically challenged to access their facilities, and hence the use of wheelchair ramps.

Features of a Disability Discrimination Act Compliant Wheelchair Ramp

  • It should have a non-slip surface
  • Be 1.5M wide and have an unobstructed width of a similar value
  • Maximum individual flight of ten meters
  • Come with a maximum gradient of 1:20 at ten meters
  • Maximum 1:12 slope at five meters
  • Maximum 1:12 gradient at two meters
  • For goings taking place between two and ten meters, the use of a sliding scale is acceptable
  • The ramp should have top and bottom landings each having a width of not less than 1.2 m and intermediate landings of 1.8m for every ten meters
  • For any open side Ramps or landings, 100mm raised curbs should be present
  • Each ramp should have a suitable handrail on each side
  • The maximum cross fall should be 1:40
  • The maximum landing slope should be 1:60
  • The ramp must have contrasting up-stands, landings, and handrails

Disability Discrimination Act compliant Portable Wheelchair Ramps

Many manufacturers recommend the use of a gradient that is not steeper than 1:12 for independent use portable wheelchair ramps and a slope of 1:10 when it comes to assisted use portable wheelchair ramps.

For you to know the right ramp length, you need to perform a simple calculation where you multiply the height with the recommended ratio.

Portable wheelchair ramps are available and range in length between two and eight feet. The ramps are easy to use and set-up. When folded, they clip together, and they come with a single fold down the length of the ramp.






What Makes a Handrail DDA Compliant?


What Makes a Handrail DDA Compliant?

According to the 2010 Equality Act terms, there is a need to make reasonable adjustments to commercial and public holdings to overcome physical barriers that make it hard for the physically challenged to get access to facilities.

One way to make this achievement is by providing suitable handrails on all external stairways.

Handrails—A Guide To DDA Compliant Handrails

Aesthetic, Easy to Install & Modular

A DDA compliant handrail should be easy to install in stairs, walkways and ramps in conformance with the railing requirements set out in the Disability, Discrimination Act, and Part M of the building regulations and should meet the British Standards BS8300.

A compliant handrail should have a framework of horizontal rails that are supported by vertical posts that have been assembled from tubes and fittings. The rail should provide a continuous gripping surface along its entire length.

Quick and Cheap to Install

The railing system should incorporate galvanized fittings and be designed with versatility and ease of installation.

A good handrail will need to be ideal for use when creating new structures, and the system should be possible to use as a retrofit solution. Such a solution will make it possible to add a new handrail to the existing tube structure.

No Welding or Reliance on Specialized Labour

The rail fitting should easily and securely link to standard seven galvanized steel tubes, and be flexible enough to accommodate any variations between the drawings made, and the requirements at the installation site.

A good system will not require threading or welding and will be easy to assemble, without having to call in specialized workers, or leasing equipment to help with assembly. Galvanized fittings are recommended for use as they allow for long-term maintenance and be powder coated.

Pre-Engineering to Meet the Requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act

A compliant railing system can easily and quickly be integrated with fittings from a compliant fitting line to provide a solution that is cost effective and compliant with the disability discrimination act requirements.

Quality assurance is vital so as to ensure that users can use it with absolute confidence, and be suitable for use in areas such as stairwells and ramps.

When installing the rail ramps, it is recommended that you consider extending the rails runs past the stated minimum requirements of three hundred MM. When you are dealing with a closed loop system, it will be very important to make sure that the rail runs are extended, just to be on the safe side.

The hand rail should also be powder coated or an equivalent coating used to make the railing aesthetically pleasing.

Handrail Should Be Non-cold To Touch
A requirement of installing barriers or access solutions is that they should be non-cold to touch. Glass Reinforced Plastic meets this requirement

Handrails Should Be A Contrasting Colour
This enables the visually impaired to clearly view the structure. GRP comes in a range of powder coated finishes to assist in modifying the structure to a suitable colour scheme.





What Is Glass Reinforced Plastic Used For?


What Is Glass Reinforced Plastic Used For

The use of glass-reinforced plastic—can be traced back to the Second World War. As a new technology at the time, glass and resin production volumes were quite low, and being a composite, its engineering characteristics were not properly understood.

However, compared to other materials, its benefits, for specific uses were quite apparent. Initial applications of glass-reinforced plastic were in protecting radar equipment, and it was used in ducting, for instance, airplane engine nacelles.

Modern Uses of Glass Reinforced Plastic

Every year, close to two million tons of unsaturated polyester resin are produced globally, and its ever increasing use is determined by a number of features, apart from being affordable:

  • Durability
  • High flexing tolerance
  • Low technology fabrication
  • Impact resistance
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Non-conductive to heat and electricity

Aviation and Aerospace

Glass reinforced plastic is extensively used in aerospace and aviation, though it is not utilized in the construction of the primary frame, as there are materials that are better suited for this application.

Typical applications of the component include in luggage racks, bulkheads, ducting, storage bins and in engine cowlings.

Railway Environments
Due to GRP not conducting electricity it is an ideal solution to be used in areas where there are high electrical currents such as railways/underground rail systems. GRP is fast becoming the preferred solution for our customers that operate in these environments.

Automotive Industry

For car fanatics, the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette was the first production car that had a fibreglass body. As a body material, glass reinforced plastic is yet to succeed against metal when it comes to large production volumes.

However, it has a huge presence in custom and auto kit markets, as well as in replacement body parts. The tooling costs are very low as compared to metal press assemblies and are suitable for smaller markets.

Boats and Marine

Fibreglass has reigned supreme in this industry for many years. It has properties that are suitable for boat building.

Although there were problems with water absorption in the early days, the modern resin is more resilient and as a result, composites have continued to dominate the marine industry for very many years.


Glass reinforced plastic is used in the manufacture of circuit boards. Fibreglass is said to hold the electronic world together given that it is used in all electronics from radios, computers, TVs and even cell phones.

In Residences

Almost all residences have glass-reinforced plastic somewhere—whether in a shower tray or bathtub. Its other applications include spa tubs and furniture


Many leisure products are made using fibreglass. For instance, how much glass-reinforced plastic do you think is present in Disneyland? The towers, the castles, and even the cars on the rides are mainly made from fibreglass.


Because of the low porosity of fibreglass, it’s hard wearing, and non-staining finish, it is suitable for use in medical applications such as X-ray beds as well as instrument enclosures.

Access ways

GRP is now becoming a very popular material for roof edge protection, handrails and other safety solutions due to its lightweight strength and affordable pricing.







The Legal Requirements For Roof Edge Protection


The Legal Requirements for Roof Edge Protection
Globally, many different standards relate to both temporary and permanent edge protection. For the United Kingdom, and Europe in general, the standards include the following:





Pros and Cons of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)


Glass reinforced plastic is a fiber reinforced polymer or composite material that is made from plastic that has been reinforced with fine fibers made from glass.Similar to carbon fiber reinforced plastic, this composite material is often referred to using the name derived from its reinforcing fibers—fiberglass. (more…)