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Requirements of Ukrainian legislation regarding a wheelchair ramp and a call button during drugstore opening

Among requirements of licensing regulations that every business must follow to obtain a drugstore license, there are, in particular, creation of proper conditions for people with disabilities as well as other people with limited mobility to get into a drugstore. This rule is established in paragraph 165 of the current Licensing Conditions, approved by Cabinet Decision No. 929 of November 30, 2016, the implementation of which is verified by the licensing authority.

Licensing  Terms

It should be noted that the licensing conditions mentioned above stipulate the requirement exclusively for licensees to create appropriate conditions for access to drug stores for such persons, without a specific indication of how such access should be put in place and what exactly confirms the creation of such conditions. In connection with this, in practice, licensees have a lot of questions about confirming that the conditions they created for persons with disabilities, etc., when opening a drug store comply with the law.

First of all, we want to focus your attention on the fact that, given the expansion of the circle of people for whom it is necessary to create proper access, in comparison with the previous licensing conditions, now is not enough for the licensee to just install a ramp at the entrance to the drug store. Care should be taken to ensure that this ramp meets all the norms of existing Ukraine's National Building Code (DBN) and other standards, as well as fulfill some other legislative requirements to confirm the creation of all conditions for access to a drug store.

Technical requirements

Even at the design, construction or reconstruction stage of a drug store premises, the future licensee must ensure that all the requirements of DBN B.2.2-17: 2006 are met. For example, the maximum height of one ramp lift, according to DBN B.2.2-17: 2006, cannot exceed 0,8 m with a slope of not more than 8%, and the supporting structures of the ramp themselves must be made of non-combustible materials, having a minimum fire resistance limit of R60. Increasing the ramp slope to 10% is allowed only with differences in floor height of 0.2 m or less.

The current DBN B.2.2-17: 2006 also establishes other detailed requirements for ramps, stairs and other structural elements of premises in order to ensure accessibility of rooms for all persons with disabilities, as well as other people with limited mobility.

Documentary evidence - expert’s statement

As for the documentary confirmation of the fact that the applicant has complied with all the requirements of the DBN and other applicable standards and rules when creating the appropriate conditions for access to the drug store, it can only come in the form of a statement of an expert in maintenance of buildings and structures, namely, an expert with the appropriate qualification certificate. The list of all experts included in the unified register of certified persons authorized to carry out such activities is available on the website of the Ministry Of Development Of Communities And Territories Of Ukraine.

What to do when it is impossible to install a ramp?

If it is impossible to fulfill all the requirements of state norms and standards for ensuring access to a drug store for people with disabilities and others (for example, for architectural reasons it is not possible to install a ramp at the entrance to the drug store),confirmation of this fact with appropriate justification should be indicated in the expert’s statement. In this case, the licensee should follow the provisions of the Law on the Fundamentals of Social Security of Persons with Disabilities, Article 27 of which provides for the possibility of “reasonable accommodation” of the facility for such categories of citizens.

The question of the feasibility of implementing a “reasonable accommodation” of a drug store is decided in each individual case, taking into account the design features of a particular premise that is used as a drug store. As stated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the introduction of necessary and similar modifications and adjustments that do not constitute a disproportionate or unjustified burden in order to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy all rights on an equal basis with other persons is considered a reasonable accommodation.

 Installing a call button 

As an additional means of a drug store to create conditions for access for persons with disabilities, as well as other mobility groups, the installation of a button for calling the drug store staff can be used. Such a button should be placed next to the front door leading to the drug store at a height of 85 to 110 cm and with a minimum distance of 40 cm to the side wall or other vertical surface. The button location should be indicated by the corresponding icon with “a disabled person” icon.

As for the documents required for the drug store to set up a button for calling its personnel, a permit must first be issued in the appropriate local council.

In addition, it should be remembered that according to the law, each “reasonable accommodation” of a drug store to the needs of persons with disabilities, including the establishment of a button, must be agreed with public organizations of persons with disabilities.

Conclusion

Summing up, it should be noted that when opening a drug store, a thorough analysis of not only licensing conditions, but also other regulatory and legal acts on this issue, which detail the requirements of the conditions, including state building standards, is necessary. However, it is sometimes easier to turn this matter over to professionals in order to be sure that all the requirements of the current legislation are fulfilled.

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