Baby-Changing Tables in Restrooms: California Changes Codes

  January 20, 2016

Recent California code amendments are now in effect for baby changing tables in restrooms. These amendments are applicable to new construction, alterations, and additions to commercial buildings, public accommodations, public buildings, and public housing that occur after July 1, 2015. The new code does not constitute a standard for barrier removal project of existing facilities, unless an alteration or addition is made.

Prior to the code amendments, which took effect on July 1, 2015, baby changing tables could not comply with California restroom codes for height of operable parts while maintaining proper table and knee space heights. The recent code amendment provides an exception to Section 11B-603.5 which changes the reach height of operable parts at restroom accessories from 40 inches maximum to 48 inches maximum for baby changing tables.

California code considers baby changing tables as a work surface and requires clear floor space, knee space and toe clearance, and specified height requirements.

Handles and latches of baby changing tables must comply with code requirements for Operable Parts (Section 11B-309), which also includes compliance with accessible Reach Ranges (Section 11B-308).

The new code does not permit baby changing tables to be located within accessible toilet compartments in multi–accommodation toilet facilities, or located where they obstruct the required width of an accessible route. Baby changing tables, however, are still permitted within accessible single–user toilet rooms.

 Baby changing tables, when deployed, shall not obstruct the required width of an accessible route and shall be cane detectable as required by Section 11B-307.2.

This Quick Read was contributed by Jon Rose via www.myFacilitiesNet.com. Rose is a certified access specialist, certified building official and owner of CASp Experts LLC, located in Burbank and San Diego, California. He is available for ADA site surveys and CASp reports. For more information on restroom renovations retrofits, visit www.facilitiesnet.com/plumbingrestrooms


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