Escalator Handrail safety requirements
  • January 20, 2021
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Article 32 -Escalator Handrail Safety Requirements

Standard requirements of escalator handrail

The Handrail is a moving rubber belt for the passengers to hold and keep their balance on the escalator or moving walk. In this article we are going to present some these escalator handrail safety requirements. All escalators must include a handrail on top of the balustrade on both sides moving in the same direction as the steps or pallets.

The speed of the handrail can have a tolerance of 0 up to 2% relative to the nominal speed of steps or pallets under normal operation. For controlling the handrail speed for each escalator or moving walk a “Handrail Speed Monitoring” device must be provided. 

The handrail is installed on a profile which is called “Handrail Frame” and this frame guides the handrail in a straight line in the direction of movement. 

To reduce to a minimum the risk of trapping and pinching of passengers' fingers, the handrail must enclose the handrail frame as much as possible and the handrail frame guide must be formed in such a way that it reduces the possibility of danger.

What Are Escalator Handrail Safety Requirements?

The following dimensions and requirements must be considered for designing the escalator handrail:

  • The handrail must be located a minimum of 80 millimeters horizontally and 25 millimeters vertically away from other objects and surfaces. 

Note: A reduction of 25mm mentioned above is authorized if the vertical distance between the lower edge of the handrail and the closest point of the handrail frame guide is 8mm or more. The lowest point of the handrail frame must be at least 25mm vertically below the lower edge of the handrail and it cannot be horizontally more than the outer edge of the handrail. 

  • The distance between the handrail frame and guide profiles must under no circumstances be wider than 8mm.
  • The handrail width must be between 70 and 100 mm
  • The distance between the outer edge of the handrail and the edge of the upper inner decking must not be more than 50 mm.
  • The distance between the center lines of the handrails must not be greater than the distance between the skirt plus 450 mm.
  • In handrail entrances, the vertical distance between the floor plate and the lowest point of the entry of the handrail into the internal spaces must not be less than 100 mm and not more than 250 mm.
  • The horizontal distance between the farthest point of the handrail and the handrail entry into the internal spaces must be 300 mm or more. If this distance is greater than (l- l3 + 50 mm) the handrail must enter into the internal spaces at an angle α which is at least 20° to the horizontal.
  • At the entry point of the handrail into the internal spaces, a guard must be installed to prevent pinching of fingers and hands, which is called “ Handrail Inlet Guard”
  • Handrail entrance must have a safety device to detect objects being trapped in the handrail entry point.


  • The handrail must be fixed and tensioned in such a way that it never leaves the guide under normal operation.
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