Handrails are defined as rail that is fixed to a post or a wall used for stability or support. Handrails are commonly used in ascending or descending stairways and escalators to prevent injurious falls. There are several conditions included in this standard:

  1. Missing: missing is defined as several scenarios:
    1. A ramp has a rise of more than 6” or a horizontal projection greater than 72” (six feet) and does not have a railing present that is at least 28” from the surface and not more than 42” on both sides of the ramp.
    2.  In accordance with UFAS 4.8.5, Curb Ramps should not be included in this requirement, even if the run length is 6 feet or more on the curb ramp.
    3. A set of stairs does not have a railing where there are four or more risers present.
  2. Damaged: Railings on steps or ramps cannot be loose or otherwise damaged.
    1. Movement is present on railings when tested with moderate force.
    2. Handrails must be able to withstand normal pressure along the top edge of a railing.
    3. Handrails must be firmly attached at the anchor points.
Def# Deficiency Severity Repair Due HCV Rating
1 Handrail is missing (Evidence of Prior Installation) Moderate 30 Days Fail
2 Handrail is not secure/movement at the anchors Moderate 30 Days Fail
3 Handrail is not continuous for a full length of a stair flight Moderate 30 Days Fail
3 Handrail is less than 28” in height Moderate 30 Days Fail
3 Handrail is more than 42” in height Moderate 30 Days Fail
4 Handrail is missing on steps with four or more risers Low 60 Days Pass
4 Ramp 6’+ missing handrails on both sides Low 60 Days Pass
4 Ramp with a 6”+ rise missing a railing on both sides Low 60 Days Pass

Handrail Standard V3.0 Updated 6/16/23

Revision: 33
Last modified: 11 December 2023


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