Always pleased to hear from Graham Hulland from Dorma Door Controls who I have known for many years. Graham has many years experience and knowledge in the field of closers and architectural ironmongery. He recently commented on a recent post on Is the DDA Being Ignored and I think his response deserves a posting of its own.
Graham Hulland says:
On existing buildings it is correct that under BS8300 ‘reasonable provisions’ should be made in respect of access etc. However new buildings are covered by Approved Document M which is titled as ‘Access to and use of Buildings’. The opening statement within the document reads as follows:- In the Secretary of State’s view the requirements of Part M will be met by making reasonable provision to ensure that buildings are accessible and usable. People, regardless of disability, age or gender, should be able to: a. gain access to buildings and to gain access within buildings and use their facilities, both as visitors and as people who live or work in them; The Approved Document therfore does not just cover people with disabilities but any one using the building as a visitor, customer or employee. It is therefore important that any door used within a Building complies with the opening forces, even an Emergency Exit if used by staff to access the building etc. I have witnessed buildings both new and existing where problems have arisen due to non-compliant opening forces. On a new build all of the door closers (300+) had to be removed and replaced as they were the result of opening forces above and beyond the recommended 30N. I have also seen issues within existing buildings where opening forces were too high resulting in able bodied staff complaining and being off work due to RSIs.It is true that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are required under BS8300 for existing buildings, however after the introduction of BS8300 in 2003 it could easily be argued by someone making a complaint that 8 years is ‘reasonable’ to ensure compliance and ease of access.