Accessibility, practicality and aesthetics are the main criteria to be taken into account when designing a bathroom and toilet as an essential part of daily life. This is why standards that impose the installation of each sanitary equipment have been put in place so that people with disabilities can find their comfort for the appropriate use of bathrooms and toilets.
Accessibility of sanitary facilities for PRMs: current legislation
With a view to simplifying the daily life of people with reduced mobility or PRM, while ensuring their autonomy and safety, standards relating to the accessibility of PRM bathrooms have been implemented. These include the law of 11 February 2005 establishing the upgrading of sanitary facilities in establishments open to the public (ERP), the order of 1 August 2006 communicating headings relating to the layout of sanitary facilities and WCs adapted to the needs of the disabled and the law of 31 December 2014 reinforcing the upgrading of sanitary facilities open to the public (IOP). A new decree, including several articles relating to the construction and fitting out of sanitary facilities and WCs for PRMs, was also introduced on 20 April 2017. These regulations concern both the sanitary facilities (showers, baths, washbasins, toilets) and the travel space (stairs, access ramps, etc.) to enable PRMs to move around easily with a wheelchair.
Prerequisite standards for a PRM bathroom
The plan of a PMR bathroom in accordance with the standards in force takes into account the surface and the layout of the room, but also the accessories that meet the needs of the handicapped. The bathroom must provide a turning area with a minimum diameter of 1.50 m to allow a person in a wheelchair to move around and make a U-turn. The shower must be well equipped, easily accessible and safe. It must therefore have a retractable, non-slip or wall-mounted shower seat, a shower bench with handles at the correct height, side handrails of between 70 and 80 cm. The shower’s projection must be less than 4 cm high and associated with an access ramp with a slope limited to 33°. The location of the washbasin and its accessories are also regulated. For example, the PMR washbasin must not be higher than 80 cm, while the towel rail, tilting mirror and soap dispenser must be between 90 and 130 cm high.
The standards for the installation of toilets and bathtubs for PRMs are as follows
The standards imposing the accessibility of a WC for persons with reduced mobility generally have the same prerequisites as those for a PRM bathroom. The access to the WC must, in fact, allow the circulation of a wheelchair as well as the ability to turn around. The installation of handrails is also mandatory to provide better support. As for the installation of a bath adapted to PRMs, the law provides for many more constraints. A PRM bathtub must facilitate entry and exit, it must have an approach space of 90 cm to park the wheelchair, an edge height of 50 cm, a transfer range of at least 50 cm and a grab bar to simplify the transfer…