Archive for February, 2018

Toilet door handles

Friday, February 16th, 2018
Photo: Clem Onojeg

Photo: Clem Onojeg

After I’ve been to the toilet I always wash my hands. Data shows that most food poisoning is self-inflicted by handling food with contaminated hands.

After washing my hands in a public toilet I’m invariably confronted by one (but often two) doors that need to be pulled to open them.

Knowing that many people don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet (irrespective of how dirty they might have been) I’m always loathe to soil my freshly cleaned hands on aluminium handles that are no doubt harbouring harmful bacteria.

The answer of course is simple – make the doors on exit Push instead of Pull then hygienic users can use their shoulder or elbow to push open the door. The reason they’re not configured this way is because if they were, they would invariably open into a corridor and the door would then present a hazard to anyone walking along it. Most architects obviously think a case of campylobacter is preferable to an accidental injury that could result in litigation.

But I have an answer to this dilemma: two handles.

The usual grab rail handle can be placed in the normal position for comfortable leverage by the user – roughly at shoulder height. The second handle however is set much lower down so that it requires a slight crouching position to reach it. This would mean someone using the second handle would have to exert some effort in its operation. If a person is so lazy that they can’t even be bothered to wash their hands then they are extremely unlikely to use the lower handle.  This means only conscientious people will use it and so lessen the risk of harmful bacteria collecting on it.

You’re welcome.