The Equality Act is designed to protect people from discrimination across society. It states the different ways it is unlawful to treat someone and makes it clear what you need to do to make your business or organisation's services compliant.
Though the Act makes provisions for people of all walks of life, one main area of focus is ensuring those with reduced mobility do not struggle to go about their daily life due to restrictions that many abled people might not even consider.
According to the Act, as a business owner or employer, you are required to make reasonable adjustments and changes to ensure you are not putting disabled people at a disadvantage compared to others.
There are three different requirements to the act:
- Provisions, criteria or practices - including company policies.
- Physical features, such as the layout of and access to shops.
- Provision of auxiliary aids - including providing information in an accessible format such as braille, large print or email.
Your responsibility under the Equality Act is ‘anticipatory’, which means it is pre-emptive, and you can’t wait until a disabled person needs to access your premises before you think about it.
Under the Act, you are required to ensure your premises are accessible from the get go, and consider on an ongoing basis what disabled people may need to access your property safely.
Provisions you could make to meet these requirements might include:
- Disability training for employees to ensure they are equipped to assist disabled customers and visitors.
- Colour contrasted door frames for the partially sighted
- Offering a braille or audio option alongside printed information
- A hearing aid loop
The most visible aspect of required provisions is the physical features category. This relates to ensuring disabled people can physically, safely access your premises.
This can come in the form of handrails, painted in a contrasting colour to ensure it is easy to see, or by ensuring the layout of the building is accessible. Alongside the Equality Act, part M of the Building Regulations also state that buildings should be made accessible right from the design stage.
Older buildings, however, may not have been designed with equality in mind, and will be difficult to access with wheelchairs or mobility scooters due to raised steps or changes in level.
Some buildings and premises will feature a disabled ramp to allow access, but permanent concrete ramps are usually included in the original building design, and are difficult to install after.
The best solution to ensuring your building is accessible to those who use a mobility aid, then, will be portable building access ramps, such as those designed and supplied by Portaramp.
We offer a range of ramps for numerous scenarios and usage types, which will allow access for all to your building, and ensure you are fully compliant to the Equality Act.
Our ramps can be easily lifted and carried when needed, and then unobtrusively stored. They are designed with premium materials and built at our factory in Thetford to guarantee durability and safe use.
There are millions of disabled people living in the UK and regulations such as the Equality Act are vital in ensuring no one is prevented from going about their daily life due to what are minor inconveniences to many.
Though it may be an extra expense, implementing provisions such as safety ramps mean that you can be confident in the fact that you have met all of your equality responsibilities.
To view or buy our building ramps online, click here, or for advice on becoming Equality Act compliant, call us on