Since an elevator is a piece of mechanical equipment, it relies on the expertise of a qualified engineer in order to ensure that it remains in tip top condition. In fact, there have been many changes to the way that elevators are designed over the years, particularly following the introduction of the DDA in order to ensure that lifts cater for the needs of the disabled as well as the able-bodied. Read on as the team here at Elevators Ltd go over everything there is to know about the legislation and how property owners can practice compliance…
What was the DDA legislation?
The DDA is an initialism that stands for Disability Discrimination Act and was first introduced in 1995 in order to ensure that those with disabilities and chronic health conditions were treated as equal citizens. In fact, it made a big difference to the lift industry as it required businesses and public buildings to provide ‘adequate provisions to ensure independent and equal access to all persons in all non-domestic environments.’ In 2004, the legislation was further developed and service providers became duty-bound to make ‘reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises in order to overcome barriers to access’ which meant that elevators became more frequent and accessible. With this said, the act was repealed and replaced in 2010.
Which elevator features did the DDA make compulsory?
Prior to the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act, elevators were not a legal requirement and many business owners saw them as an aesthetical eyesore and once they became compulsory, there were still many issues that wheelchair dependant people faced. Luckily, these problems were tackled in 2004 when elevators had to be fitted with a range of different features in order comply with the DDA. For example, the cab had to be large enough to comfortably fit a wheelchair inside, the floors buttons had to be placed at a suitable height and a handrail had to be installed.
Is the Equality Act 2010 the same as the DDA?
Contrary to popular belief, the DDA and the Equality Act are two separate legislations. In fact, it was the Equality Act that replaced the DDA in 2010 in order to ensure that every member of society was catered for in public buildings. After all, the government realised that parents with pushchairs were facing just as much difficulty navigating staircases as wheelchairs users were. As a result, the Equality Act 2010 protects the disabled from discrimination whilst simultaneously ensuring that buildings are accessible for all. With this said, many lifts are referred to as DDA compliant because the regulations of the DDA are much more clear-cut.
Here at Elevators Ltd, we recognise the vital role that elevators play in the independence of those with a disability. After all, skyscrapers are a minimum of 20 stories high which can make it impossible for anybody to travel between the different floors without an elevator, even without a reliance on a wheelchair. Luckily, the Disability Discrimination Act made it a legal requirement for every elevator to cater to the needs of every member of society and all our lifts are made with the legislation in mind. To find out more information, get in contact with the best lift company around and speak to a member of the Elevators Ltd team today!