Did you know that tactile indicators started in 1965 by a Japanese inventor, Seiichi Miyake? People back then called it Tenji blocks and initially installed them in Okayama City. After a decade, they are now mandatory in Japanese Railways, and 40 years later, these indicators are now across the globe.
So, what are tactile indicators? These are items made of different materials that consist of a set of elevated studs or bars. Contractors install specific mushroom-shaped studs or mats drilled into the ground surface to warn visually impaired people.
In this article, you will learn more about tactile indicators, usage, and Australian standards that are in place.
The design of Tactile Ground Surface Indicators or TGSI is to help visually impaired people to read either tactually underfoot via the tip of a long cane or visually using a strong luminance contrast. Meaning, aside from the bumps, it also has a colour that sticks out against the ground surface.
Tactile indicators BCA (Building Code of Australia) released guidelines that TGSIs must comply with. And it requires stairs, escalators, travelators, ramps, and conditions with overhead risks less than 2m above the ground or floor surface. Stainless steel tactile indicators or steel tactile indicators are the best for these.
These TGSIs should also have safety information in areas like hotel driveways, where there are ‘at grade’ road crossings. In which you can use tactile plates.
TGSI are primarily used to guide users to and locate public access services such as kerb ramps, pedestrian crossings, stairwells, lifts, ramps, and escalators. They are also used in public transportation to alert people about platform edges at train stations, bus and tram stops, and ferry terminals.
Tactile indicators in Sydney, tactile indicators in Brisbane, tactile indicators in Melbourne, and all over Australia help provide secure, dignified, and independent access to and within the community and assist with orientation.
You can not just put a random tactile pattern because visually impaired pedestrians rely on consistency to interpret accurately. This is why TGSI must comply with Australian standards. And these are the factors you must consider:
- Dimensions – Tactiles have precise measurements not to cause a trip hazard.
- Correct Installation – There is proper spacing. This will eliminate misinterpretation that will lead to confusion.
- Luminance Contrast – A significant percentage of visually impaired people still have partial visions. They can detect the contrast.
- Slip Resistance – Offers resistance at hazardous locations such as bus, stairs, platform, etc.
- Quality – Tactiles must withstand harsh conditions.
Tactile indicators are helpful, especially to visually impaired people. It is made of a different material that consists of elevated bars or studs that can warn or alert people.
Floorsafe Australia has been in the anti-slip industry since 1991 and originates in Adelaide. Our products are still among the top choices in tactile in Australia, New Zealand, PNG, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Visit our website to learn more