ADA Compliance Means Safety For All
While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines a set of standards for accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities, ADA compliance is something that benefits everyone. When our businesses, neighborhoods, and local government agencies work to be considerate of individuals with differing needs, our inclusive community provides the space to recognize the unique gifts and perspectives that these individuals can offer.
To further safety in public spaces and workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set out standards to create health working situations for men and women. Furthermore, certain OSHA standards intersect with the ADA, meaning that businesses and communities that prioritize these guidelines are creating a safer world.
The ADA applies to companies, organizations, and businesses that fall into the following categories.
- Local, county, state, and federal government agencies
- Businesses that serve the general public
- Private companies with 15+ employees
- Non-profits that serve the public with 15+ employees
- Businesses that serve the public
- Apartment and rental properties
- Bus stations and terminals
- Department stores
- Education institutions
- Healthcare facilities
- Resorts, hotels, and motels
- Parking garages
- Public bathrooms
- Public parks
- Public sidewalks
- Sports stadiums
To provide a safe workplace for the general public and employees, OSHA and the ADA teamed up to create a process for reporting injuries, illnesses, and workplace issues.
Maintaining the safety of the workplace is crucial for worker health, disability or not. For example, workplaces should ensure that doorways, hallways, and stairwells are wide enough for navigation with mobility devices. Lighting should be bright, and parking lots and pathways should be maintained to prevent slips and falls. Both OSHA and the ADA require that these measures be taken to protect the people who work and use these spaces.
ADA compliance also means being sensitive to certain allergies and irritants. While these environmental sensitivities may be hard to accommodate, the ADA obligates employers to do their best to help protect their employee’s health.
The point of the ADA is to provide scope for eliminating discrimination against individuals with disabilities. With such a broad definition, the ADA can be called upon to support the needs of many individuals since it can cover physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Public buildings or structures that are open to the general public must be accessible to everyone, regardless of disability. The ADA obligates building owners to identify and remove any structural obstacles that could keep someone from entering and moving easily throughout the building.
When businesses and buildings adhere to the ADA, everyone benefits.
In some situations, it may not seem pressing to make your building or company ADA compliant because no one has a noticeable disability. However, this could possibly cause problems in the future, including lawsuits. To ensure your building provides for people of all abilities, seek not only a basic safety audit but also bring an ADA compliance expert to review your building.
For emergency situations, it’s important to have a plan in place for people of all abilities. A fire alarm is great for those with good hearing, but a system should take into consideration people who may not be able to hear. An emergency plan should include multiple avenues of communication so that people of all abilities are able to be informed about emergencies. One of the best ways to discover gaps in emergency operations is to practice drills regularly and evaluate how it went.
While many of the suggestions and practical steps outlined by ADA compliance are in place for individuals with disabilities, everyone benefits by maintained sidewalks, curb cuts, wide hallways, and well-lit public spaces. ADA compliance means safety for all.
At StrongGo, we believe an accessible world is a better home for everyone. We research and manufacture innovative and high-quality products that improve infrastructure to make the world more accessible. Talk to our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.