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 > Safety issue in handicapped bathrooms

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mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 08/14/21 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Out of necessity, I’ve needed to use a handicapped accessible shower over the past several years. There is one glaring safety situation I’ve noticed in all the places I’ve lived, one that’s easily rectified by the manufacturers of the grab bars placed along the walls of these shower facilities. The problem is that these bars are made of smooth metal, making it impossible to grip tightly with wet hands. Since i can only use my right hand, it’s doubly impossible for me. I get around the problem by using a washcloth between my hand and the grab bar, otherwise it would be impossible for me to get out of the tub.

So I’m thinking, why do manufacturers of these bars make them with smooth metal surfaces, knowing that they’re virtually impossible to grip with wet or soapy hands? Would it be too difficult to roughen the surface or provide a sandpaper-like coating to allow an safer grip? I imagine more than one handicapped person has taken a serious fall trying to rely on these dangerous types of grab bars. [emoticon]


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JRscooby

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Posted: 08/14/21 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One issue I can see; A rough surface that would hold your hand would also grip anything you wanted/needed to clean off of it.

RedRollingRoadblock

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Posted: 08/14/21 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is that it is not required and it would cost 10¢ more to make them. Profits before anything.

I feel for you. You say you use a washcloth. Would something like a gripper cloth used to open jars, or shelf liner be better?

d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 08/14/21 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I design restroom layouts and specify components as part of my job. There are not many option variables as we need to strictly stay within the parameters of ANSI 117.1 guidelines (ADA is a whole other matter.)

Some of the few alternates are knurled and peened surfaces ILO of typical satin nickel finishes. [image]
Though possible, there is not much variation as a whole as the overall dimensions must be adhered. One of the largest suppliers of grab bars with whom I deal does not offer the knurled option in their catalog.

Ed, do you think the peened surface would make a difference?

monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and Central Fla

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Posted: 08/14/21 02:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd bet the knurled would do the trick. That's the first one I thought of installing. When I was building, I did install a few of those for seniors, but can't recall the manufacturer at the moment. It does have a less-slip grip, and holds no dirt - easy to clean. It's been quite a while, but will try to locate a supplier.

On Edit: Have not done business with either one ...

https://www.grabbarspecialists.com/GBS-1.25-Inch-Diameter-Straight-Stainless-Steel-Grab-Bars-Concealed-Screws?gclid=CjwKCAjw092IBhAwEiwAxR1lRjBMcZgpurtXScfxsnDbJy0l1tTMWc5LX6eZa03pk3AIXQDAo6xkNBoCK-oQAvD_BwE

https://dmesupplyusa.com/drive-medical-chrome-knurled-grab-bar.html?gclid=CjwKCAjw092IBhAwEiwAxR1lRtpm6jvCxbY2HN6-2ih5tRIJ_AqgUEEVC22StO6LmVi_0DUWTLE8OxoCCH8QAvD_BwE


Monkey44
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wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 08/14/21 02:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I moved in to the place I'm living I had grab bars installed (2 of 'em)
But my XXL hands have the strength to grip. Oh I might slide up/down one bar but so far that's not been an issue, the other (Angled) bar I normally grip with one hand in a location where slipping is not possible (The bottom end) Alas that might not work for you it all depends on tub or shower (mine is tub) and how much strength you have in your hands (I gather that's an issue with one hand at least).

I've seen 'em kurled but can't recall where.


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d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 08/14/21 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Monkey- thanks for those leads, I will keep them in my kit of parts (suppliers.)
I mostly deal with Bobrick as they are mostly a one-stop firm for not only ANSI items but all commercial restroom components.

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 08/14/21 04:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, that knurled type looks like a good improvement. They probably cost more, so they're not used in many places. Since the smooth ones are very dangerous in a bathing situation, you would think they shouldn't be allowed. O well, it is what it is and thankfully I've stayed safe using the washcloth for extra grip. If I were the owner of a building with handicap apartments, I'd be certain to spend the extra few bucks for safer grab bars, if only to prevent lawsuits by injured occupants.

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 08/14/21 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RedRollingRoadblock wrote:

My guess is that it is not required and it would cost 10¢ more to make them. Profits before anything.

I feel for you. You say you use a washcloth. Would something like a gripper cloth used to open jars, or shelf liner be better?


That's a good suggestion. I do have a roll of material that I used in my RV to line shelves to help keep things in place. The washcloth I use now works very well also, but I'll keep in mind your suggestion. [emoticon]

jetboater454

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Posted: 08/14/21 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe 2 or 3 wraps of the shelf liner,then zip tie the ends. That way the middle shouldn't slip and the zips would be out of the way of your hands.


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