This paper summarizes research performed to evaluate the impact of handrail profile dimensions on graspability.
It reports on research performed to determine the forces that stairway users exert on handrails when they fall, tests demonstrating the forces persons with various hand sizes can exert on handrails with different profiles, and comparisons of the probability of loss of grip by stairway users when they attempt to arrest a fall by grasping a handrail.
The recommendations based on this work include specific definitions of the shapes of handrails that are deemed to be sufficiently graspable to constitute functional handrails.
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Dusenberry, D. O., Simpson, H., & DelloRusso, S. J. (2009). Effect of handrail shape on graspability. Applied Ergonomics, 40(4), 657-669.
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