Design of Large Passenger Ships & Passenger Infrastructure: Guidance on Meeting the Needs of Disabled People
Section 5: Lifts, Steps, Stairs and Ramps on Vessels
5.1 These guidelines cover all aspects of design for lifts, steps, stairs and ramps. There is additional guidance covering dimensions which should be followed wherever possible, except where physical or design constraints (such as a ships hull or bulkheads) prevent the use of these dimensions.
5.2 Passageways and corners on the approaches to and exits from customer lifts should be wide enough for all lift users, with a clear turning circle of at least 1,700mm on bends and corners for wheelchair users. Seating should be provided close to lift entrances for waiting passengers who cannot stand for long periods. Care should be taken to ensure that such seating does not obstruct access to the lift and a clear space of 1,500mm by 1,500mm is required in front of the lift doors. Lift doors should be clearly indicated in a colour/tonal contrast with the surrounding wall.
5.3 A handrail should be provided on three sides of the lift at a height of 900mm from the floor, and the back wall should include a mirror to enable a wheelchair user to see the floor indicator. Apart from the mirror, which should finish no lower than 300mm from the floor, the lift cabin walls should not be reflective. If walls are of a metal finish they should provide adequate contrast to indicate the position of the controls and handrails. Plain glass should be avoided because it can cause confusion to visually impaired people, but lift doors (except for those which are fire doors) should have sufficient glazing to enable lift users to be seen clearly from outside and vice versa. Lift floors should be covered with non-slip material. The lift interior should be lit to similar levels as those floors at which it calls.
5.4 Controls both inside and outside the lift should be centred at 1,050mm above floor level, with buttons at a minimum height of 900mm and a maximum of 1,200mm. There should be nothing protruding more than 100mm from the wall below the buttons. The buttons themselves should be at least 20mm in width/height, slightly raised from their surroundings, and capable of being operated by using the palm of the hand as well as the fingers. Floor numbers and other control information should be clearly visible in contrasting colours/tones with raised characters/numerals, in both text and Braille. There should be a visual and audible acknowledgment that a call has been registered, and when the lift arrives. Where there are 3 or more floors audible announcements will also be necessary to announce floor location.
5.5 Controls inside the lift, while complying with the above recommendations, should be fitted on a side wall at least 400mm from the front and back wall. The emergency controls should be positioned at the bottom of the panel; the centre line of these controls should be no lower than 900mm from the lift floor. A visual and audible two-way emergency communication system should be provided between the lift and a point outside, with the highest part of the system no more than 1,200mm from the lift floor.
5.6 Lifts should be fully automatic, and should also be fitted with automatic floor-levelling devices. Lift doors should remain open for at least 20 seconds unless overridden by the door-closing button. To assist visually impaired users and mobility impaired people, audible announcements complemented by visual indication should be given both inside and outside the lift when the doors are opening and closing and when the floor has been reached.
5.7 Lift door(s) should open to a clear width of at least 900mm, except where building constraints or physical design prevent it, all lifts should have internal dimensions of not less than 2,000mm wide, 1,400mm deep and 2,300mm high; with a minimum space requirement of 1,100mm wide and 2,100mm high.
5.8 Larger lift cars may require the fitting of control panels on either side of the doors designed to the specifications given in section 5.4.
5.9 Stairs should be built in accordance with relevant parts of the Building Regulations or Ship Construction Regulations (see Appendix 2). The key features are set out in the following sections.
5.10 The steps should be of uniform dimensions. Less than three risers should be avoided.
5.11 A contrasting stair nosing should be provided on each and every step. The nosing should extend the full width of the step, approximately 50- 60mm on the tread and approximately 25-35mm on the riser. The nosing should contrast in tone and colour with the step finishing materials.
5.12 A handrail should be provided on each side of the steps. A central double handrail is desirable on wide staircases. The handrails should be of a circular cross-section, diameter between 45-50mm and at a height of 1,000mm above the nose of the steps or 900mm above the pitch line. The handrails should be extended horizontally 300mm beyond the top and bottom steps.
5.13 Corduroy-profile hazard warning tactile paving should be used at the top and bottom of the steps in accordance with the DETRs guidelines - see Appendix 2.
5.14 The underside of the staircase should be enclosed or protected to prevent people walking underneath the staircase and sustaining head injuries. Open sides should be avoided; if used, balustrades, cross-rails or similar should be installed.
5.15 Stairs should have closed risers. Open risers can become trip hazards and disorientate people.
5.16 Lighting should be provided specifically to illuminate the staircase to at least 100 lux. It is not acceptable to assume that adequate lighting will spill over from other areas.
5.17 Wherever possible, curved or spiral staircases should be avoided. At half landings, where the direction of travel changes, a 90-degree or 180-degree turn should be provided. Handrails should always be continuous across or around half landings. Corduroy surfacing is not required on half landings.
5.18 Except where physical constraints prevent it, the maximum rise of a flight of steps between landings should be 1,200mm. Resting areas should be a minimum size of 1,200mm by 1,200mm, although 1,800mm by 1,800mm is preferred. The minimum width of stairs between handrails should be 1,200mm. To assist visually impaired people, a colour or tonal change to the surface at the top and bottom of each flight of stairs is useful to complement the corduroy paving.
5.19 Longitudinal slopes and ramps should be kept as shallow as possible, and of consistent gradient, with a slope of 5 per cent (1:20) or less. Where this cannot be achieved, the maximum gradient should never exceed 8 per cent (1:12). In either case the ramp length should, wherever possible, not exceed five metres between horizontal landings. As many people cannot negotiate ramps without assistance - particularly when descending - the provision of a separate flight of steps, where possible, can be beneficial. Stepped ramps (ramps incorporating one or more steps) should never be used. See the guidance in Section 3.5 for other aspects of ramp design and dimensions.
5.20 Staff assistance should also be available.
5.21 Handrails must be round, with a diameter of 45-50mm and no sharp bends. There must be a minimum clearance of 45mm (preferably 50mm) between handrails and any adjacent surface. Handrails must have an easily gripped non-slip surface, preferably with a rigidised or similar raised texture, in a bright colour which provides a clearly visible contrast (in both colour and tone) with the background against which it is seen.