Non-Complaint Internal Stairway Handrails

The problem we regularly see is that the first ascending riser needs to be setback one tread width (or going). This ensures that the internal handrail transitions around over the landing and maintains a consistent height throughout the stair flight.

AS1428.1-2009 Clause 11.2(c) says that “Handrails shall have no vertical sections and shall follow the angle of the stairway nosings, as shown in Figure 28(b)”.

AS1428.1-2009 also says in Clause 12(e) that “The height of the top of the handrail, measured in accordance with item (d), shall be consistent through the ramp (or stairs) and at any landing”.

If a stair isn’t designed in this way, then the internal handrail will have a steeply angled or vertical section, which results in a non-compliant internal handrail to make up the height of the first rise or step in this flight.

The only way for the internal handrail to comply when the first riser is not set back the distance of one tread (or going) is to increase the depth of the stair landing (1250mm minimum) to allow the handrail at the top of the first flight to extend the distance of one going, before turning 180 degrees and going up the second flight. This is another method to keep the handrail at a consistent height.