Filed under: Cord Covers, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
ADA Compliance: it’s so important and so necessary, but it can also be a tough pill to swallow for business owners and facility managers who are on a tight budget. ADA compliance can be as simple as laying down some paint and installing signage to designate accessible parking spaces, or building a relatively inexpensive ramp to make an entranceway more easily traversable for mobility-challenged individuals who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and crutches to get around. But what if you have cables that lay across indoor pathways on a pretty much permanent basis?
Floor-level cords are a notorious tripping hazard even for people who are able to get around without any trouble. But add things like wheelchairs or crutches into the equation, and those cables not only become an obstacle to roll over, but also threaten to snag walking aids, which can cause the individuals using them to lose their balance and fall. Not to mention that rollovers and pedestrian trampling of any kind can crush and otherwise damage the cables. It’s a situation that you can’t ignore.
Several cord protector manufacturers have solved the problem of ADA compliance in the presence of floor cords (and even hoses and air lines) by creating a variety of heavy duty polyurethane cable covers with gently sloped sides that are textured for traction and accommodate wheelchairs without a problem. They’ve also come up with modular rails that can be attached to ADA-compliant cord protectors to create clearly marked crossing points that have the added advantage of providing hand-holds for people who’d like a little extra stability.
These are all outstanding products, but have the drawback of being a little too expensive, bulky and intrusive for environments like smaller retail stores, offices, and school media centers. While they’re perfect for large outdoor events, concert venues, and other large-scale applications, the heavy duty polyurethane products would just be overkill in situations that don’t include crowds in large, open spaces.
Enter the OFR Over-Floor Raceway by Legrand Wiremold. It’s every bit as ADA-compliant as its bulky counterparts, but with a scaled-down, low profile steel design that’s appropriate for just about any indoor business or educational environment. It can be installed over any type of flooring, and when all is said and done, it only rises a half inch above the floor surface, with sloped sides that ease the crossing of pedestrians, wheelchair users, and even small carts. People are protected, cables are protected, and no one goes broke in the process. You’ve gotta love that.
Running heavy duty cord covers in closed construction zones or private warehouses is one thing, but if you’re planning on using them in public places, you’re going to have to think about ADA compliance. Heavy duty polyurethane cord covers are no problem for your average pedestrian to step over, but can be tricky, if not impossible, for individuals in wheelchairs to traverse. Because of this, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires high-capacity cord covers to be fitted with ramps and rails that ensure safe crossings for people who are physically disabled.
Luckily, these modular ramps aren’t just easy to obtain, they’re also very simple to install. Take Cross-Guard™ Modular ADA Compliant Access Ramps, for instance. They come in pairs ( to cover both the “up” and “down” slopes), and can be installed by just one person, no tools needed. The ramp sections just snap onto the cord covers, and stay in place. You’re left with smooth, gradual, high-traction slopes that provide smooth crossings for wheelchairs, strollers, carts, and pedestrians, too.
Just like the Linebacker® and Guard Dog® cord covers that they’re compatible with, Cross-Guard™ ADA ramps come in 36″ (3 foot) lengths, which makes things really easy, because you just have to order one set of ramps for every cord cover you need to make compliant – no extra measuring or calculations needed. As a finishing touch, the ramps can be bordered with accessory rails, which keep wheels (and feet) from slipping over the edges during crossings.