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Doorway hazards

Studies have shown that when a door closes, it can generate around 40 tons of pressure per square inch at the hinge area. Amputations, lacerations, and severe fractures to fingers are common injuries that result when a person’s hand or finger gets caught when the door closes. Children are more prone to finger-tip amputations than adults.

Steps you can take to help reduce doorway hazards include:

  • Install finger entrapment guards and door closures to control how fast a door closes.
  • Design a door safety zone. Start with the door closed, and as you open it, trace the door-swing area until the door is completely open. Then measure outward at least another 3 inches. Highlight the door-swing area with skid-resistant, yellow hazard paint. Once a child enters this area, you can quickly recognize the potential hazard and remove the child safely.
  • Inspect door and panic bar hardware daily. Make sure hinges and doorknobs are securely fastened and attachment screws are flush. Check the panic bar hardware to ensure protective caps are in place. Replace any defective hardware immediately.
  • Make sure door thresholds do not exceed 1/2 inch in height, are level and are securely attached to the floor.
  • Any location that is accessible to the public must be ADA compliant, with a minimum door width of 32 inches.