Design for Accessibility

Wheelchair SignThere is a lot in the health and safety news lately about 'disability issues' within construction. From our perspective CDM2015 states that designers have a responsibility to ensure that, whatever they design, be it a road, building, bus stop, bridge etc., consideration as to its use, operation and maintenance should ensure that no person is put at risk.

The Equality Act 2010 states that clients and contractors should provide 'reasonable alternative access' when constructing. There should be reasonable steps taken to overcome barriers that may impede people with different kinds of disabilities. If a client fails to make reasonable adjustments to their premises then disabled service users can make claims in the civil courts, many of which have been successful.

Many older buildings create a challenge, not just for accessibility but for egress during fire or other dangerous occurrences. That said, it does all come back to the Designer; even a plan to set up new accessibility in an older building starts with a new design.

Interestingly we note that by June 2017, TfL had made 26% of their underground stations fully accessible, so even in highly used buildings such as these, there is long way to go. Having a disabled parent I have felt the severe lack of consideration for disabled users of transport. We ended up having to get taxis everywhere on our last London trip. However I am pleased to report that most taxis had wheelchair access – most impressive.

Disability should not be seen as an encumbrance, in fact we have a large portion of our workforce in Britain who manage to hold down steady, well paid jobs. What we should be thinking about is accessibility, not just for disabled people with wheelchairs but for those with prams and pushchairs or wheel-walkers.

So, back to the drawing board, the designer, the start of the plan. The last thing you want as a person with any sort of disability is to have to add on time to 'find out' how to get from A to B. Don't make this type of work an afterthought, it should be integral to the planned design, that way it will be a better result for all parties.

If you would like to know more about how CDM ToolKit CS can help you with your CDM Design requirements then please call a member of the Ai Solutions team on 01525 850080 and arrange your FREE Demonstration and Consultation. We know we can help you, we have many customers that will verify that so please contact us today!

Ai Solutions are industry experts in compliant CDM and Asbestos management solutions. Our cloud-based services allow ToolKit Compliance System to be run on any internet-connected Windows, Apple or Android based device.

Design for Accessibility
written by , Customer Support & Training Manager, November 2017