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Adapting Your Facility for Operation During COVID-19

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As businesses and organizations across the country continue moving through reopening phases according to local COVID-19 guidelines, it’s time to consider what the new normal may be for your property.

In many instances, business owners and property owners alike are considering how to adapt their location for an entirely new way of operating. Whether this new way of operating includes redirecting traffic through your store or adding temporary office space, EZ-ACCESS is here to help you provide safe access to your property for individuals of all abilities.

Here are a few things to consider:

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What is the best way for individuals to maintain a safe social distance while on your property?

Before we can help you decide what access solutions you need, you (or the owner of the property) will need to verify COVID-19 restrictions and make sure any changes to your layout or structure will meet local building ordinances and guidelines from your local and state health officials.

These are a few examples of how we see different industries adapting their facilities to adhere to local COVID-19 restrictions and maintain safe social distancing.

  • Commerce: Opening up all possible entrances for the public to use. Many businesses that do this are directing traffic flow by lanes or dividing their building into zones to avoid overcrowding.
  • Office Spaces: Adding mobile office space to spread out staff work areas, including lounge and break areas.
  • Schools: Utilizing portable classrooms if the district is requiring you to limit headcount.
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What additional access systems will be necessary to maintain ADA and/or OSHA compliance?

If these acronyms are new to you, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Circle around the letters A D A

    Americans with Disabilities Act:

    “a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.”

  • Circle around the letters O S H A

    Occupational Safety and Health Act:

    the “OSH Act was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. This law created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards.”

You have likely already met these standards with your current office or public space as these are federal laws that businesses must abide by. However, if you change the layout or function of your property, you need to re-evaluate the property to make sure you’re still meeting these standards.

Not only is this great practice for welcoming your customers, but following ADA and OSHA guidelines will help you avoid lawsuits should someone choose to press charges about accessibility of the property.

ADA

  • If you open up additional entrances to the public, ensure that 60% of all entrances are accessible
  • If you alter the path of travel, you must ensure that the route to primary areas of function (like the entrance and the bathroom) are accessible
  • If you need to overcome obstacles like steps or elevated entrances with a ramp, the ramp must have a 1:12 slope
(For all ADA guidelines, visit the design standards written here)

OSHA

  • Ensure safety in confined spaces
  • Provide fall protection and prevention
(For all OSHA guidelines, view the laws and regulations here)

At EZ-ACCESS, you can rest assured that our commercial-grade solutions are all ADA and OSHA-compliant. These include:

  • All-aluminum stairs
  • All-aluminum ramp systems
  • Custom configured or sized all-aluminum ramp and stair systems
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Do you plan to make these accommodations temporary or permanent?

In response to COVID-19, some properties plan to implement permanent changes to their structure, while others would like to make temporary adjustments until they know what the “new normal” will look like. Even though these are different responses to the pandemic, commercial-grade aluminum access systems are a great solution for both! If you choose to go the temporary route, you can either purchase an access solution and store it away when you’re done using it or get in touch with a company that will rent the equipment.

A few key benefits of aluminum ramps and stair systems include:

  • Can easily be customized to fit any layout
  • Can be configured to overcome obstacles (ex: raised entrances)
  • No poured concrete footers
  • No damage when systems are removed
  • Easy to set up and take down to transfer to a new location or send back to rental company

Talk to us about which commercial-grade, aluminum access system will work best for your facility. Our experts will make sure the process is easy and ensure you’re meeting ADA and OSHA standards.

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