If you run any kind of building or facility open to the public, from a private school to a financial institution, providing easy access to areas about ground level for your disabled patrons is both ethically and legally necessary. Disability access ramps are a popular choice for providing this access, as they are generally more affordable and practical than wheelchair lifts, and accessible ramps are a common sight both inside and outside public buildings.
However, a disability access ramp that isn't fitted with a balustrade is an expensive lawsuit waiting to happen, and your balustrade will need to be both robust and durable if it is to properly arrest falls. Many businesses and institutions that use access ramps fit stainless steel balustrades to them, and for good reason; this unique metal has a number of properties that make it an ideal choice for ramp balustrades.
Stainless steel has all the immense durability and toughness of regular carbon steel and couples it with a complete immunity to rust. This immunity is not dependent on protective surface treatments such as paints or powder coatings.
A stainless steel balustrade can therefore withstand pretty much anything you can throw at it; it will not dent when impacted by motorised wheelchairs and other heavy objects, it will not rust when used in outdoor, unsheltered locations, and it will not perish in intense sunlight (a problem commonly experienced with some plastic balustrades).
Stainless steel is also just as strong as regular steel and is capable of bearing heavy loads without buckling or giving way. This is obviously an important property for any balustrade, but it is particularly important for those fitted to disability access ramps; a runaway motorised wheelchair can weigh several hundred pounds even when discounting the weight of its user. This strength also allows users of your ramp to lean heavily on the balustrade to support themselves, which can be a great help to non-wheelchair users who have trouble walking without assistance.
Stainless steel balustrades have a clean, crisp and contemporary look that can complement almost any style of building and are available in both polished and brushed surface finishes. If you wish to colour your balustrades, a wide variety of paints and powder coatings can be applied in almost any colour you can think of. Vivid colours are particularly useful for visibility, allowing people with impaired eyesight to use your balustrades more easily.
Stainless steel balustrades are also very easy to keep clean and hygienic, and a simple wipe down with a damp cloth and some disinfectant is generally all you need to do to keep them sanitary. This is particularly useful for balustrades fitted to indoor ramps, where bacteria and other pathogens are more likely to accumulate on surfaces, and will greatly benefit disabled ramp users with compromised immune systems.