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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Should builders add a grabrail besides the toilet based on Australian Standards for Access and Mobility (AS 1428.1)?

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Typically, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) calls up AS 1428.1 for technical specifications relating to grabrail provision for people with a disability.

The BCA access requirements and AS 1428 are not mandatory within cetrain buildings, but they do serve as a default or baseline for design. Although not mandatory, many professionals prescribe grabrails in accordance with AS 1428.1 requirements within private residences. The installation of a grabrail for a particular individual should consider the user's abilities, how and why the grabrail will be used, and the location of the grabrail. Poor choice of location can lead to secondary disability because older people, and people with a disability have particular health issues. Thus an assessment by an occupational therapist is advised.

A referral can be made through the health service or via the local Home Maintenance and Modification Service (click here to find a HMMS). Regardless of whether a grabrail is installed, a builder should ensure wall construction that will make it possible to install a grabrail in the future.

More information about grabrails can be located at the HMinfo Clearinghouse Publications by HMinfo by clicking here. Additional information can be found on the Independent Living Centre website.

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