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Key Benefits of ADA Compliance for Storage Areas

Oct 4, 2018 | High Density Storage, Vertical Carousel Storage

ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE WITH HIGH DENSITY STORAGE

Convenient, easily-accessible storage areas create an atmosphere in which those with disabilities, as well as those without,can work easily and comfortably. Storage areas that are ADA compliant benefit not only those who are temporarily disabled but also those who are permanently disabled, because of a previous accident or illness. No matter what, the number one priority should be to consider the ease for users of a particular shelving system to retrieve items, time productivity and safety. Here are some benefits of ADA Compliance for Storage areas.

Benefits & Features of ADA Compliance for Storage Areas

In accordance with the IBC (International Building Code in the United States, storage area and file rooms need to:

Meet building’s compliance for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These can be met with Business Systems & Consultants and leading partners who work diligently to get the right product to their consumers. One of the systems feature a storage shelving unit that is mounted on carriages.  The wheeled carriages then run on tracks left and right. The system can be mounted on top of the floor or recessed into the concrete.

Rather than having aisles and space rows repeated across a file storage room, the access aisle between each storage unit is opened depending on the item the user needs to pull. This could be a file folder, box, part, tool, etc.  There are different system designs according to the customer’s needs – manual assist, mechanical assist, or electric powered. The safety features vary depending on the type of the system.

A High-Density Mobile Storage System Can:

  • Maximize square-foot capacity, creating more storage space in any area by condensing the aisle space
  • Increase accessibility—items in mobile storage are easily seen and/or felt and can be retrieved quickly

A Vertical Storage System Can:

  • Maximize square-foot capacity by utilizing vertical dead air space for a storage system
  • Have a designated person retrieving parts on a continuous basis, this can be at a standing or seated height utilizing the movable posting board for wheel chair people.

Safety & Storage Systems

For emergency purposes, safety devices will stop moving high-density storage systems on a mobile shelving system or a vertical carousel type system. E-Stop buttons are easily accessible and visibly marked.

Mobile Storage System Considerations

ADA guidelines for buildings and facilities are put in to place with designing a storage area in your facility. Some things to consider in regards to your space saving system design are:

  • Aisles: There are minimum widths that must be considered for aisles and clearances for wheelchairs. Mobile storage can provide the wide aisle in much less overall space than stationary shelving, which has to provide the space between each shelving unit.
  • Ramp Plates: Ramps are required when there is a change in levels greater than ½”. Our storage experts calculate ramp requirements for each application on an as needed basis.
  • Opening Forces: Unless a wheelchair is put into lock, pushing a carriage will require  too much force that moves the wheelchair away from the system in the opposite direction . A  powered mobile storage system would be recommended in this instance, as carriages can be easily moved by a person with a click of a button.
  • Type of Controls :This should be something taken into to consideration when selecting the manual, powered or mechanical assist options for movable shelving accommodating employees with disabilities
  • Signs:  movable systems that meet ADA for people with disabilities are to include directions for operating the systems as well as the contents of the carriages designated with signs.
  • Wheelchair Accessibility: There are standards in which depend on if space is needed for wheelchair turning (180 degrees) or if a t-shaped space is required for the backing up and turning of the wheelchair. This must be determined on an individual basis, depending on the  limitations of the facility and the person(s) using the shelving system.
  • Aisle Length: Some systems may be short enough that a person using a wheelchair can back out of a single-entry aisle with relative ease
  • Dual-Access Aisles: Providing access on either end of an aisle may eliminate the need to a turnaround, as people using wheelchairs can simply enter on one end of the aisle and exist through the other end.
  • Turnaround Aisles: In a mobile system, allowing for a 60-inch aisle for wheelchair turnaround can also create two 30-inch aisles for people not using wheelchairs, and a powered mobile system, can be set to lock with a carriage, making it a stationary platform with an aisle on either side.
  • Floor Surface: This is in reference to the floor covering once entering into the system, which need to be strong and slip-resistant.

Automated Storage System Considerations

Hänel vertical carousels bring items to the end user eliminating climbing, reaching stooping, etc.  The shelving unit simply rotates around and around, up and down. 

Hänel vertical carousels can be installed so that a wheelchair can be operated underneath the unit allowing a person of very limited reach to get very close to the unit for pulling items.

Ergonomics is essentially one of the most important things to consider while in the workplace. Many workers have to reach, bend, twist, etc. to retrieve what they are needing. ADA compliance is important to remember before purchasing your filing system. The Hanel Rotomat Office File Vertical Carousel System is one to consider because of the ADA accessibility.

Specifications for Your Workplace

The specification requirements to be considered for your workspace are clear space, forward reach, side reach and knee clearance for wheelchair accessibility .

  • Clear floor space for wheelchairs: Area that provides a 2.5 ft x 4 ft of ground space accessible by a single wheelchair and the occupant.
  • Forward Reach: ADA says that you should not have to reach higher than 48 inches from the front , not have to reach higher than 54 inches from the side, and no lower than 15 inches from the floor.
  • Side Reach: For parallel or side approach, there are similar rules. Since the side approach allows the person to get closer to the system, the maximum forward height is 54 inches.
  • Knee clearance: Obstacles such as countertops also impact approach. With the carousel system, there is an option of a movable posting board so that ADA requirements are met.

BSC provides custom design and installation services for high density systems such as movable shelving and carousel systems that are ADA compliance and maximize floor space in your facilities whether it is an office environment or warehouse. BSC always provides a free consultation onsite to determine your exact needs and requirements from the beginning. To learn more or to chat with a storage specialist, call us at 205-988-3300 or email info@bscsolutions.com.