Several facilities were inspected to assess the standards for Barrier-Free access for a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer. The properties were evaluated using the Ontario Building Code Section 3.8 Barrier-Free Design, and the local bylaws regarding parking for disabled persons, with respect to workers returning after an injury, visitors with disabilities or persons with disabilities arriving for an employment interview.
The areas studied included parking lots, offices, lunchrooms, washrooms, front entries, and all pathways to access these areas. The emergency evacuation plan was also evaluated to determine the suitability for all handicapped employees. The facilities were examined for:
- Signage on the property indicating where the Barrier-Free facilities exist for parking and entrances.
- Landscaping, drainage and lighting along the Barrier- Free path to accommodate movement or vision impaired persons.
- Number of accessible entrances for persons in wheelchairs and vision impaired persons.
- The existence of automatic door openers to facilitate persons in wheelchairs.
- Compliance at reception to accommodate Barrier-Free sign-in and coat check.
- Existence of opaque contrasting strips at glass doors to help vision impaired persons.
- Flooring materials, floor slopes, corridor widths, and door widths and swings.
- Elevator conformance with the Ontario Building Code in regards to button heights when operated by persons in a wheelchair.
- Interior signage indicating the location or path to Barrier-Free washrooms or lunchrooms within the facility, and the path of egress in an emergency.
- Door opening hardware for ease of use for movement for impaired or wheelchair restricted persons.
- Cafeteria facilities including: food service counter height, microwave height, glassed-in food display accessibility and beverage dispensing machine heights. Also evaluated were: table heights, table locations, aisle widths and the existence of fixed or moveable seating.
- Washroom facilities per Ontario Building Code Barrier-Free design standards.
- Workstation configurations were evaluated individually for the suitability to the task of the person occupying the station.
- Mounting heights for switches and controls for thermostats, fire pulls, and intercom devices to be accessible to someone in a wheelchair.
- Mounting height of drinking fountains for a person in a wheelchair.
- Fire alarm system suitability to evacuate handicapped personnel, including audible and visual systems
Recommendations were made as required, including:
- Adding paint to curb ramps at the front entrances.
- Adding automatic openers to card-locked doors.
- Replacing existing doors not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Adding the required accessories to the existing Barrier-Free washrooms.
- Making small height adjustments to existing wall mounted objects.
- Posting signs at the exterior and interior to indicate the location of Barrier-Free facilities.