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How Dangerous Can Wheelchair Ramps Be?

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Accessibility is an essential part of society. It allows people with disabilities to participate in their communities. Accessibility and accommodations for disabled people must be made correctly to make a difference. These accommodations can be dangerous for users if they are not planned and executed with care.

Ramps can be more than just a place for children to run up and fall, they can also serve as a way for people to have more access to the world. Although ramps may seem safe to residents of Houston, there are dangers lurking.

There are many types of people who use wheelchair ramps in businesses and other buildings. People who use wheelchairs, strollers, and/or walkers or simply need an easier way into buildings. Some dangers may not be known and could cause serious injury.

Steep Ramps

The needs of wheelchair users go well beyond a flat, smooth surface. Many cannot also navigate the same ramp grade as those who are able to walk. Power wheelchair users may be able to climb a steep ramp with no problem, but manual wheelchair users need to go up a more gradual slope in order to be safe. This is where many builders make mistakes. The steepness or slope of a ramp can be measured with an ada slope calculator.

Instead of creating a long or winding ramp leading to a door, they build a ramp adjacent to the stairs at the same grade. For manual wheelchair users, this is not always possible. They could fall off the ramp and roll into a street or parking lot if they try to use it.

Use Of Improper Material

When designing a wheelchair ramp, it is important to choose the right material. Wood is a popular choice for homeowners and business owners as it matches the exterior of their homes. However, wood is not the best material for ramps. Wood can become brittle or sagging with repeated use.

Wood can also rot if it is left exposed to the elements for too long. This could lead to users falling through or becoming stuck. Although pressure-treated lumber is highly recommended for ramps it is more costly than other types of wood.

It is also important to choose the right material. Homemade ramps are not recommended. The weight of wheelchairs is very heavy and homemade ramps often use lower-quality materials that might not withstand daily wear and tear.

No Handrails Or Weak Handrails

This is one of the most dangerous hazards wheelchair users have when using ramps. To prevent falls, ramps should have strong handrails. Both power wheelchair and manual users can wander off-course and end up too close to ramp edges.

They can easily fall and injure themselves if there are no guardrails. Due to their limited mobility, they might not be able to seek help if they are injured. This puts them at greater risk of sustaining more severe injuries.

This flaw could also be dangerous for those with limited mobility. Not only are wheelchair ramps used by those in wheelchairs, but they can also be used by others. These ramps can be used by people who are able to walk but are unable to climb steep stairs, parents with strollers, and other individuals for whom strollers may not be an option. Handrails may be necessary to help them navigate the ramp safely.

Poor Maintenance

As with any other property part, wheelchair ramps need to be maintained. Many property owners think they have done all the work to make their property accessible by installing a wheelchair ramp.

The ramp becomes less safe over time. Either they are less likely to use it as it is unsafe or they put themselves in greater danger of injury. The property owner is responsible for any injury.

Regular maintenance is required for wheelchair ramps. Another reason property owners should hire a licensed company to install a wheelchair ramp is. An experienced company in wheelchair ramp construction can suggest a maintenance plan that will keep the ramp safe for all users.

Wooden Ramps For Wheelchairs

Wooden wheelchair ramps are particularly dangerous. They are susceptible to rotting, which can lead to them caving in. After it snows or rains, they can become very slippery. They can also be slippery if they aren’t coated with a slip-resistant coating or another substance.

An attorney who specializes in personal injury may be able to help a person who has been hurt by a poorly constructed or maintained wheelchair ramp. An attorney can examine the circumstances leading to the client’s injuries and hold the owner of the building responsible. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages.

 

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