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Salsbury Locker Blog

What Makes a Locker ADA Compliant?

December 13, 2023

Salsbury's ADA-compliant lockers, available in metal and wood, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring individuals with disabilities have easy access and usability. These lockers take into consideration the physical limitations of users, making it essential for public spaces like schools, workplaces, fitness centers, and other facilities that aim to provide equitable access.

Overview of ADA Compliance for Lockers

Salsbury’s Metal Lockers and Wood Lockers are designed to deliver high security and are constructed with top-notch quality. They can be tailored to adhere to the ADA locker requirements, promising years of dependable and maintenance-free service. The key lies in adjusting the shelf's vertical location "above the finished floor" (AFF), which determines the number of locker compartments adhering to the reach criteria.




Key features of an ADA-compliant locker include:


The locker should be designed so that its compartments, shelves, and hooks are within easy reach of individuals in wheelchairs. This typically means that shelves are placed no higher than 48 inches and no lower than 15 inches above the finished floor.

Door Hardware & Locks

The locker hardware, including handles and locks, should be easily operable with one hand without the need for tight grasping, pinching, or wrist twisting. Moreover, locks should be positioned no higher than 48 inches from the floor.

Interior Design

The locker's interior should be designed with accessibility in mind. Hooks and shelves, for example, should not be placed higher than 48 inches from the floor. At least one shelf should be positioned no lower than 15 inches from the finished floor.

Clearance and Placement

The area in front of the locker should provide enough clearance for a wheelchair. This means a clear floor space of at least 30” x 48”, allowing for either a forward or parallel approach. There should also be enough space for the door to swing open without obstructing the user.

Bench Accessibility

If benches are provided alongside lockers, they too must be ADA compliant. This involves ensuring that benches have the right height, depth, and length to be comfortably used by someone in a wheelchair. They should also be placed in areas that have clear floor space for easy approach. Salsbury offers ADA compliant locker benches in its bench product offerings.


Any instructions, labels, or signage on or near the lockers should be easily readable, considering factors like font size, contrast, and height.


Turning Radius

The locker's vicinity should allow a user in a wheelchair to make a complete turn, facilitating easy access and exit. 

When these criteria are met, a locker can be deemed ADA-compliant. Such lockers not only ensure legal adherence but also reflect an organization's commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all its users.


Lockers.com ADA Compliance

Many Single Tier, Double Tier, and Triple Tier Salsbury Metal and Wood Lockers are ADA compliant in terms of reach, provided that the shelf is fixed at the heights specified below.


Forward Reach Requirement

Forward reach for lockers must be unhindered to be considered ADA-compliant. As outlined in Section 308.2.1 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design by the U.S. Department of Justice (September 15, 2010), when a forward reach is unhindered:

  • The maximum high forward reach is 48 inches (1220 mm)
  • The minimum low forward reach is 15 inches (380 mm) above the finished floor.

This implies that the shelf’s topmost reach should be under 48 inches AFF, while the lowermost reach should start at 15 inches AFF.


Side Reach Requirement

As per Section 308.3.1 of the same ADA document:

  • The maximum high side reach, when parallel to an element without obstructions, should be 48 inches (1220 mm).
  • The minimum low-side reach should be 15 inches (380 mm) above the finished floor.

Thus, for side reaches, the locker shelf's highest point should be below 48 inches AFF, and the lowest point should begin at 15 inches AFF.


Turning Radius Recommendation

To ensure smooth door operation and wheelchair mobility, lockers must be situated at least 24" away from any obstructions and maintain a clear floor area of 30" x 48" with a door swing allowance of 10". The locker's front area should be clear within a 60" diameter circle to guarantee unobstructed access.


ADA Compliance Guidelines for Locker Units

The ADA highlights accessibility features that are commonly found in ADA-compliant lockers:

  • Door Hardware: Should be easily operable with one hand without requiring tight grasping, pinching, or wrist twisting.
  • Locks: Positioned no higher than 48 inches, with limited pinching/twisting. Recommended lock types include padlock hasp or high-security padlock hasp paired with an ADA-compliant lock.
  • Interior Design: Hooks and shelves should be positioned no higher than 48 inches, with at least one shelf situated no lower than 15 inches AFF.
  • Locker Placement: There should be a minimum of 24" clearance in front of the locker and a width of 30" along the lockers.

Local building authorities may also necessitate compliance with the ADA, which requires:

  • At least one of each locker type to be ADA-compliant.
  • A clear floor space of 30” x 48” that supports either a forward or parallel wheelchair approach.
  • Storage elements such as shelves and hooks are to be placed between 15” and 48” AFF.
  • Accessible lockers should have U-shaped pulls located as close to the door top as feasible.

ADA Locker Benches

Salsbury ADA locker benches adhere to the ADA guidelines specified by the U.S. Access Board. These benches should have a clear floor space for wheelchair access, be between 20-24 inches in depth, and have a length of at least 42 inches. The seat height should range between 17-19 inches AFF. In wet areas, bench surfaces should also be slip-resistant and designed not to accumulate water.


Developing an Inclusive, ADA-Compliant Space With Lockers.com

Ensuring locker ADA compliance is crucial for creating inclusive spaces. By adhering to the ADA guidelines and choosing customizable options like Salsbury lockers, facilities can cater to the needs of all users, including those with disabilities.


Browse Salsbury Industries full line of lockers, locker benches and accessories here.