Handrails and Handrailings
A handrail is a rail that is designed to be grasped by the hand to provide stability or support. Handrails are commonly used while ascending or descending stairways and escalators in order to prevent injurious falls. Handrails are typically supported by posts or mounted directly to walls.
The first handrail was recognized in history when French archaeologist Pierre St. Jamaine uncovered an Assyrian ruin in southern Iraq in the city-state Nippur. The first known use of a handrail was in 1725.
Handrails are used to steady and provide guidance as we ascend or descend stairs. They are essential, but especially so for people who are blind or vision impaired, people who have a mobility disability and people who have an intellectual disability or brain injury.
Effective handrails are ergonomically designed so that they can be used by all people, especially those with an impairment to their hand or arm function. Continuous handrails that allow a user’s hand to maintain a hold on the handrail without the fixings breaking the grip assists in safe transition throughout the complete journey either up or down a stairway. The ends of handrails must be designed to reduce the incidence of injury to pedestrians.