Barwood Products provides public toilet facilties for the disabled

Installing suitable public toilet facilities for the less-abled

  • 26 Oct 2015

Special needs bathroom products provider, Barwood Products urges contractors and installers to consider the needs of the disabled when fitting public toilet facilities, by stressing the importance of Document M.

According to Barwood Products’ Sales and Marketing Director, Sharon McKenna, meeting the requirements for Document M of the 2010 Building Regulations is a moral obligation.

Sharon, who is passionate about supplying products that meet the needs of disabled uses, believes that contractors and installers can often be tempted to source lower cost products that may compromise the integrity of the Doc M Pack.

Since the Approved Document was made on behalf of disabled users, who often experience difficulties using public toilet facilities, Sharon argues that it should be respected.

Contractors and installers must be made aware that something as simple as the wrong projection of a toilet pan can make safe transfer from a wheelchair to the toilet difficult. The Document offers guidance on this; “it’s about dignity and there should be no compromise,” comments Sharon.

Ensuring suitability: public toilet facilities

BS8300 provides detailed guidance to supplement the Approved Document M; it sets out the Code of Practice required for the design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. BS8300 works in conjunction with BS EN997, which specifically considers the specification of WC pans and WC suites with integral traps.

To ensure compliance to the Code of Practice and Building Regulation, specifiers should consider:

  • The correct height of toilet pan for wheelchair transference. The top of the seat ring on the WC pan should sit 480mm from the floor.
  • The correct projection of toilet pan and seat ring for optimum wheelchair positioning. The projection should be 750mm from the back of the wall.
  • Cisterns should have a flushing mechanism positioned on the transfer side of the WC.
  • Hinged drop-down support arm should be located on the open side and should extend 50mm to 100mm beyond the front of the WC.
  • A basin that allows a mixer tap to be positioned closest to the user to eliminate the need to stretch (and potentially fall) to hand wash.
  • Backrest on low- level toilet suites.
  • CE marked sanitaryware with Declaration of Performance (DoP).

There are important additional considerations that specifiers should note when selecting a supplier for a Doc M pack:

  • Lateral movement seat buffers that eliminate potential seat slide and further help the safe and steady transfer from wheelchair to WC.
  • Full LABC approval on all products marketed as Doc M.
  • WRAS approval.
  • The availability of spares and parts to ensure continuity of service.
  • The availability of specialist knowledge of the Building Regulation requirements.

Find out more about Barwood Products and its range of bathroom products for the less-abled and special needs market.

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