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Ohio AgrAbility

Ohio State University Extension


Universal Design Recommendations

Applying Universal Design to the Farm

  • Step free entry areas with accessible approaches and remote control operated overhead doors.

  • Walking and working surfaces should accommodate the area being used.

  • Non-slip surfaces in potentially wet areas

  • Comfort / Fatigue mating at work areas for long periods of standing

  • At least 60” of clearance around large equipment in storage or service areas

  • Lever style door handles instead of twist knobs on all doors.

  • Large “D” or “L” style handles on barn doors, gates and storage cabinets.

  • Windows that require minimal effort to open and close.

  • Flat rocker panel light switches instead of toggle switches, located 42” to 48” from ground level.

  • Additional lighting or task lighting in specific work areas.

  • Adjustable height shelving and cabinets for storage areas – no overhead storage that takes access from stairs or ladder. At least 36” between rows of shelving or storage bins.

  • Most frequently used items are 18” to 48” above floor in storage areas, to least used items on higher shelves, and rolling or mobile items are on the floor.

  • Mobile tool storage is no less than 6” from the ground and no higher than 48”from ground level.

  • Utility carts to move parts, tools and misc. from service area to other areas – storage, workbench, parts cleaner, welding station, etc.

  • Multi height workbenches. At least one work surface area 28” above ground with a clear opening below where a user can work seated.

  • Switches and outlets at the front of workbenches opposite of the traditional location at the back of the bench on the wall.

  • Power tools that are pneumatic or battery operated. Hand tools/equipment with larger cushioned grips, ergonomic handles, and sizes are very visible or color coded.

  • Control levers or switches on equipment should have large color-coded / pictorial handles.

  • Free-standing equipment controls should be located on the front of the machine and at least 18” off the ground and no more than 48”above the ground.

  • Accessible sink area (with a lever style faucet) for clean up which can be used from a seated or standing position.

  • Utilize floor markings for travel areas and work areas to keep parts, debris, or equipment from blocking these areas.

  • Utilize floor markings at doorways to assist vision when pulling or backing in equipment to storage or service area.

  • Use organizational techniques such as visual labeling and easy open containers.