The Australian Standards is a piece of Federal Legislation that has been developed to ensure equipment meets recognised safety and reliability criteria. In order to achieve this status, equipment must pass a series of tests in which it is put under difficult conditions that are designed to be similar to those that the child or adult may face when the equipment is used.
For example, wheelchairs are tested for safety at different speeds, conditions and surfaces.
Therefore if the equipment in question has passed these tests and has gained Australian Standard acceptance, it provides a sense of satisfaction and reassurance that it is safe to be sued and suitable to carry out the tasks it is designed to achieve.
So, what’s covered in the Australian Standards 1428?
Specifications for continuous accessible paths of travel:
- Minimum height and widths of accessible paths of travel,
- Dimensions and configuration of wheelchair passing spaces in corridors,
- Specifications for surfaces; construction tolerances for abutting surfaces, suitable floor finishes and coverings including limitations on soft coverings, size and orientation of slots in floor grates.
- Description of international Symbols to be included in signage,
- Orientation of signage to provide directional information,
- Layout of signage
Walkways, Ramps (including step & kerb ramps) and landings:
- Maximum gradients and cross-falls,
- Specifications for handrails and kerbs or kerb rails,
- Spacing and configuration of landings
- Configuration of treads and risers
- Luminance contrast of tread nosing
- Handrail specifications including shape, size, height and extent
Doorways and Doors:
- Ramps at threshold,
- Luminance Contrast between doorways and adjacent walls,
- Clear opening width – 850mm,
- Circulation Spaces at doorways,
- Door handles and related hardware – specifications and location,
- Maximum forces required to open a door.
Switches and Powerpoints:
- Height above floor surface and distance from corners,
- Size of switches
- Specifications for toilets (including wheelchair accessible and for use by people with ambulant disabilities), bathrooms and showers,
- Gradient of floors in wet areas
- Specifications for the location of fixtures – taps, toilet seats, flushing controls, toilet paper & towel dispensers, washbasins, mirrors, shelves, soap dispensers, clothes hanging devices, sanitary disposal units, shower screens, shower head holders and grabrails,
- Clearances to fixtures and circulation spaces,
- Configuration and location of grabrails,
- Toilet door operation, latching and signage
Wheelchair seating spaces in auditoriums and places of public entertainment:
- Gradient of floor surface,
- Dimensions and spatial requirements,
Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s):
- Luminance contrast with base surface,
- Slip resistance,