ADA Requirements for Workplace Restrooms: Avoid These 4 Accessibility Mistakes
Having to use the restroom multiple times throughout the day might seem like an inconvenience to some, but the reality is that it’s even more complicated if you have a disability.
For example, what do you do if you’re in a wheelchair and find that the restroom you’re in doesn’t have a wheelchair-accessible stall?
In the worst-case scenario, it may mean not being able to do what you came to do. And for business owners and property managers, it could mean expensive fines or even troublesome litigation, depending on the severity of the offense.
That’s precisely why the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into federal law. Learn more about this important legislation, along with a handful of common accessibility mistakes to avoid if you want to ensure that your business remains compliant.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to prevent discrimination based on disability.
The ADA requires businesses serving the general public in the U.S. to comply with various regulations designed to make their facilities accessible to all, including those with disabilities. Organizations that fail to comply with these regulations can face steep fines, leave themselves open to lawsuits, or even be shut down entirely.
The ADA also applies to restrooms, meaning all public, commercial, and employee restrooms must be ADA-compliant. Following are the ADA requirements for public, commercial, and workplace restrooms in the U.S.
Signage indicates where the bathroom is located. It’s usually the first thing people look for when searching for a restroom.
Since visual impairment is a common disability, these signs need to have clear, easy-to-see pictures and symbols, as well as raised Braille characters. Along with accommodating people with visual impairments and making life easier for visitors, this signage signals that your business complies with ADA regulations.
You might not have considered floor space as being crucial for satisfying the guidelines of the ADA, which is why it’s being highlighted here. The ADA mandates that a reasonable amount of restroom floor space be available so wheelchairs have enough clearance to make a proper turn.
More precisely, facilities must provide at least 60 inches of floor space that aren’t taken up by sinks or toilets. This standard was added to the law in 2010, which means there are still some restrooms around the country that aren’t compliant.
The ADA requires a sink in every restroom. These sinks must be at least 34 inches above the floor, with a knee clearance of 27–30 inches in width and 11–25 inches in depth. These dimensions were chosen to ensure that average-sized wheelchairs have enough clearance.
Additionally, all faucets, dispensers, and dryers must be operable with a single hand since the loss of a hand or upper extremity constitutes a disability.
Such appliances and fixtures also make general facility use more convenient and sanitary, as people only need to use one hand to dispense soap, turn faucets on and off, and grab paper towels or activate the automatic hand dryer.
Grab bars are one of the most essential components of an ADA-compliant restroom. They allow people to safely support their weight without using their lower extremities. This feature is a necessity for anyone in a wheelchair, as it enables them to easily get on and off the toilet.
In order to be ADA-compliant, a grab bar must be 42 inches on the side wall and 36 inches on the rear wall. Additionally, it must provide at least half an inch of clearance space in all directions.
Grab bars must also be placed in convenient proximity to the toilet paper dispenser and hand dryer. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that any grab bars installed in your restrooms are waterproof.
If you need to ensure that your restrooms are ADA-compliant, it’s a good idea to consult a professional team with lots of experience.
Fast Partitions is here to help you with all of your restroom needs, including ADA compliance and other regulatory demands. Contact us today to request a quote for your project.