Post Pandemic – Public Use Doors – what can you do to make things safer

In the post-pandemic things need to change. I am reading articles on new standards for schools, retail, grocery, church, and any other place groups of people might pass through. So each of these have one thing in common – public use doors. So I asked the local hardware expert, Michael Shaner, AHC, CSI, CDT, FDAI with Augusta Steel for some solutions to making doors safer.

So the challenge will be how you can make a no touch door work, not prevent someone with mobility or sight restrictions from safely operating it, and hopefully keep the function intuitive.

The first option I asked Michael about is a low door mounted bracket that you could use your foot to open a swinging door with no latch. It turns out the “StepNPull” already exists. This simple device mounts low on the door and is long enough with a rough edge that you can grab it with your foot and pull open the door. It appears to meet ADA requirements for access, but would not be readily apparent for someone with sight limitations.

Michael mentions that he has also seen attachments added to door hardware making it possible to open the door with an elbow. See the picture of a 3D printed solution.

There is also door hardware that lends itself to this solution more than some. I found this option at Restroom Direct.

Of course there are many motorized solutions, but these tend to be expensive if you don’t already have electricity to the door. There are “keys” that you can carry that look like hooks that can be used to operate some door hardware. I found some options on ETSY that look to be 3D printed. I am sure we are going to see more innovation in this area in the coming months and years as demand for such devices will surely go up.

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