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ADAAG Manual

Note: This document, portion of document or referenced document was published prior to the 2010 ADA Standards, and is still applicable.

Shape and Diameter

Use of a handrail requires the formation of a power grip so that hands and fingers can be opposed and the surface of the palm can be in maximum contact with the rail surface. Large sections, particularly those of rectangular design, are not as graspable as smaller circular sections. A gripping surface width between 1¼ to 1½ inches diameter is specified. Also permitted are rails that allow an opposing grip similar to that possible with a circular section of 1¼ to 1½ inches diameter. Standard IPS pipe designated as 1¼ to 1½ inch is acceptable. (Consider a 1¼ inch specification for pipe since a 1½ inch specification may result in an outer diameter close to 2 inches.) The 1½ inch clearance between walls and handrails is an absolute dimension; it provides knuckle clearance while preventing entrapment of the arm for people who lean on rails with their forearm.


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