With such an extensive range of needs, many factors must be taken into account when considering the safety and accessibility objectives of all those that reside in aged care facilities. Importantly, this includes adherence to a strict set of State and Federal government safety standards. Whilst the building should be designed to facilitate easy, safe access and flow of residents, staff and visitors, safety must be addressed in a number of different ways including appropriate floor covering selection.
Residents in care facilities are particularly prone to accidents and injury with a fall being three times more likely compared to aged people living in the community (Rubenstein et al., 1996 as cited in Shanley). The risk factors for falls are considered to be a combination of intrinsic (related to the person) and extrinsic (related to the environment). Typically, tactile ground surface indicators (TGSIs) would be used in egress stairs and ramps to improve the safety of pedestrian traffic and reduce the number of falls. However, in the case of aged care facilities they often cause problems for those who are required to use walking frames and wheelchairs. As a result of this unique issue, aged care facilities are exempt from using TGSIs under the NCC, provided that raised dome buttons are used on handrails instead.
CTA Group is an organisation that has been involved in civil safety for more than 16 years and offers a unique set of patented handrail domes designed to take up this challenge, yet are extremely easy to install. With a simple peel & stick installation, you can readily comply with the building code without the extra cost of installing TGSIs. And for the vision impaired, CTA Group’s DiamondGrip handrail domes also include a braille message that communicates the type of hazard, whether it be a stair or ramp and the direction of travel, being either an incline or decline.