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Publication numberUS3633862 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1972
Filing dateMay 28, 1970
Priority dateMay 28, 1970
Publication numberUS 3633862 A, US 3633862A, US-A-3633862, US3633862 A, US3633862A
InventorsBreen William Ross
Original AssigneeHubert Ind Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety rail
US 3633862 A
Abstract
A safety rail and a connector for adjustably attaching an end piece to a tubular bar of the type used in safety rails. The end piece has a recess adapted to receive an end of the tubular bar and an opening for receiving a screw which passes through the end piece into the bottom of the recess to engage in the connector. The connector includes a crossbar having a lug at each of its ends. The lugs extend outwardly for attaching the connector to an inside surface of the bar. An integral tubular portion of the connector extends inwardly from the crossbar to define a threaded opening to receive the screw for drawing the end pieces to the bar. Each of the ends of the rail has one connector and one end piece.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States Patent William Ross Breen [72] Inventor Toronto, Ontario, Canada 211 AppLNo. 41,513 22 Filed May28, 1970 45 Patented Jan.ll,1972

Hubert Industries Limited Toronto, Ontario, Canada [73] Assignee [54] SAFETY RAIL 4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

Primary ExaminerDennis L. Taylor Attorney- Rogers, Bereskin & Parr ABSTRACT: A safety rail and a connector for adjustably attaching an end piece to a tubular bar of the type used in safety rails. The end piece has a recess adapted to receive an end of the tubular bar and an opening for receiving a screw which passes through the end piece into the bottom of the recess to engage in the connector. The connector includes a crossbar having a lug at each of its ends. The lugs extend outwardly for attaching the connector to an inside surface of the bar. An integral tubular portion of the connector extends inwardly from the crossbar to define a threaded opening to receive the screw for drawing the end pieces to the bar. Each of the ends of the rail has one connector and one end piece.

SAFETY RAIL This invention relates to safety rails and in particular to an adjustable end piece for connecting the safety rail to a wall, floor or the like.

Safety rails are commonly provided in hospitals and old peoples homes for disabled people who grip the support to move themselves about.

Although there are many types of safety rails, they are all commonly attached to walls, floors or any other convenient support surface by screws which pass through flanged end pieces on the rails. The end pieces are welded, brazed or silver soldered to the rails with the end pieces arranged in any desired position. Consequently when the rail is to be placed on a wall or the like, a problem can develop if screw holes in the end piece do not align with a suitable part of the wall. For instance if the holes are aligned with existing screws or nails in the wall then the rail must be moved to another location so that it can be attached to the wall. However, it may be difficult to move the rail if the rail is to be located in a corner between two walls and the floor because there is only one position in which the rail will be upright and parallel to the walls. Thus if the rail can not be connected in this position, some modification must be made either to the wall or to the floor to change the position of the end pieces in relation to the walls and the floor.

A further problem arises in safety rails of the type commonly called grab bars. These consist of a rail having angled end portions and end pieces for connection to the wall. If the bar is to be horizontal then the flanged end pieces must be attached to the bar in a given position whereas if the bar is to be inclined then the flanges must be attached in another position. Consequently a large variety of bars must be kept in stock for attachment in various positions.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a safety rail having flanged end pieces which can be rotated on the rail to place them in any desired position for attachment to the wall. This permits a contractor when assembling the bars to adjust the flanged end pieces if required to avoid expensive modifications to the wall.

Accordingly, in one of its aspects, the invention provides a safety rail having a tubular bar and a flanged end piece adapted to fit over the end of the tubular bar for attachingthe bar to a wall or the like. A connector is attached to the inside of the bar and a screw is provided which passes through the flanged end piece and threadably engages in the connector to draw the bar into the end piece. The end piece can be rotated about the axis of the bar into any desired position before the screw is tightened.

In another of its aspects, the invention provides a connector for attaching a tubular bar or the like to an end piece having a recess adapted to receive an end of the tubular bar. The end piece has an opening for receiving the screw which passes through the end pieces into the bottom of the recess to threadably engage in the connector. The connector includes a crossbar having a lug at each of its ends. Each of the lugs extends from the crossbar outwardly towards the end of the bar for attaching the connector to the bar. An integral tubular portion of the connector extends inwardly from the crossbar to define a threaded opening to receive the screw for drawing the end pieces onto the bar.

These and other aspects of the invention will bebetter understood with reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of an adjustable end piece and an end portion of a guard rail;

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view on lines 22 of the end piece attached to the guard rail;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a connector for attaching the end piece to the guard rail;

FIG. 4 and 5 are perspective views of safety rails incorporating end pieces; and

FIG. 6 and 7 are perspective views of bathtub rails incorporating the end pieces.

Reference is first made to FIG. 1 which shows a tubular end portion 10 of a safety rail 11 and an end piece 12 for attachment to the end portion 10. Rail 11 is tubular and the end portion 10 which is generally cylindrical fits into a cylindrical recess 14in the end piece 12. A connector 16 is attached to an inner wall 18 of the rail 10 by brazing, welding, silver soldering or the like for threadably receiving a locking screw 20. A countersunk opening 22 extends forwardly from a rear face 24 of the end piece concentrically with the axis of recess 14 and terminates in a bottom wall 25 (FIG. 2) of the end piece.

End piece 12 includes a generally elliptical flanged portion 26 having a front face 28 and boss 30 which extends forwardly from the front face 28 to define the recess 14. A pair of countersunk holes 32, 24 one on either side of the boss 30 extends rearwardly from the front face 28 to receive attachment screws (not shown for coupling the end piece 12 to a wall, floor, or the like.

The connector 16 consists of a crossbar 36 and a pair of lugs or extensions 38, 40 which extend outwardly from respective ends of the crossbar 36 towards the end of the rail 11. The lugs 38, 40 are rounded in cross section to match the internal diameter of the end portion 10 so that when the connector 16 is inserted in the end portion 10 (as will be explained with reference to FIG. 3) the connector is a snug fit with the lugs 38, 40 in contact with the inner wall 18 of the end portion 10. This snug fit is normally sufficient to locate the connector 16 in place on the inner wall 18 while the connector is brazed to the wall 18. An integral tubular portion 41 of the connector 16 extends inwardly from the crossbar 36 to provide a threaded opening 42 for receiving the screw 20.

Reference is next made to FIG. 2 which shows the screw 20 in place in the connector 16 and with the end portion 10 of rail 11 pulled down against the bottom wall 25 of the recess 14. The bottom wall 25 is machined to be parallel with the rear face 24 of the end piece 12 and the axis of the recess 14 is at right angles to both the bottom wall 26 and the rear face 24. Also the end of the rail 11 is squared relative to its axis so that when the rail 11 is engaged against the bottom wall 25, the axis of the end portion 10 of the rail is coincident with the axis of the recess 14. This permits the end piece 12 to be rotated around the end portion 10 and positioned as required before screws are inserted through holes 32, 34 to attach the end piece to a wall or the like.

Reference is now made to FIG. 3 which shows connector 16 before it is inserted into a rail 46. The lugs 38, 40 diverge upwardly as drawn so that when the connector is inserted into the rail 46, the lugs 38, 40 will be deflected inwardly into surface contact with the inner wall 48 of the rail 46. Consequently the resiliency of the material of the connector will cause the lugs 38, 40 to frictionally lock the connector 16 in place in the rail 46. The crossbar 36 is narrower than the internal diameter of the rail 46 so that if the connector 16 is mispositioned in the rail 46, the crossbar 36 can be gripped using a pair of pliers or the like and the connector 16 manipulated back into position. The connector is then attached to the inner wall 48 of the rail 46 by brazing the exposed ends of the lugs 38, 40 to the inner wall 48. The lugs 38, 40 therefore serve two purposes. Initially they are used for locating the connector 16 in the rail 46 and then they are used to attach the connector to the inner wall 48, by brazing, welding, silver soldering, or the like. The lugs are sufficiently large to permit brazing without damage to the internal threaded opening 42 which is remote from the ends of the lugs 38, 40.

When assembling a safety rail to a wall or floor, the rail if first positioned with the end pieces fitted loosely on the rails so that the end pieces can be rotated into the desired position relative to the rail. The locking screws 20 are then tightened and the rail is repositioned where it is to be attached to. the floor. Next, screws are inserted through the holes 32, 34 and each end piece 12 tightened in position.

The end piece 12 permits the person who is attaching the rail to avoid irregularities in a wall or existing nails or screws in the wall by simply rotating the corresponding end piece until he can place screws through the openings 32, 34 into the wall. A further advantage is that if the screws holding a safety rail to a wall are pulled ofl the wall the end piece can be rotated until the screws can be positioned in the wall in a new location.

The fastener 16 has been described with two lugs 38, 40 and a crossbar 36. However, in general any number of lugs or a continuous cylindrical extension can be used. The number of lugs and shape of the extension will determine the shape of the crossbar. For instance the cylindrical extension will require a circular crossbar.

Reference is made to FIGS. 4 and 5 which show two safety rails 50, 52 of a type commonly called grab bars. The grab bars are to be attached to a wall at a height which is convenient for a person to support his weight. Grab bar 50 is intended to be attached to the wall in a horizontal position as shown in FIG. 4, whereas grab bar 52 is to be attached in an inclined position. The load applied on the grab bar is better disturbed on the wall if the end pieces 54, 56 are in the positions shown in the figures. Consequently unless the end pieces are adjustable, the bars 50, 52 must be supplied with the end pieces welded in the position shown. According to the present invention, a grab bar can be supplied with adjustable end pieces so that the bar can be positioned as required. This eliminates the need for extensive stocks of different types of grab bars.

A further example of the need for flexibility in producing safety rails is illustrated in FIG. 6 and 7. Rails 58, 60 are of a type commonly called bath tub rails which are intended to be positioned about a bath to enable a disabled person to enter and leave a respective bath tub 62, 64. In each case the safety rail has three end pieces which are to be attached to walls or floor. If any mistake is made in attaching a screw through an end piece, of if the wall is damaged where screws should go, then unless adjustable end pieces such as end piece 12 are used, the whole bar must be moved to find a position where the wall is not damaged. This may mean that the bar has to be placed above the bath tub in a less convenient position for the disabled person. This is particularly true of safety rail 60 which has to be attached to two walls and to the floor. There is consequently only one position in which this rail will go if it is to have its respective bars horizontal and vertical. If the wall is damaged where the rail 60 is to be attached, repairs must be made to the wall unless adjustable end pieces are used.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. A safety rail for attachment to a wall, floor and the like, the safety rail comprising:

a tubular end portion having inner and outer surfaces of respective predetermined internal and external diameters;

an end piece comprising: a flanged portion having a transverse rear face for placing in contact with the wall, and a front face parallel to the rear face, the flanged portion further defining at least one axial hole extending through the flanged portion for receiving a fastener to attach the rail to the wall;

a boss extending outwardly from said front face. the boss defining a cylindrical recess of a diameter substantially equal to said external diameter, and containing an end of said tubular portion, the axis of the recess being normal to respective planes containing the front and rear faces and the end piece further defining an opening extending between said faces and coaxial with said recess; and

a connector permanently attached to the inner surface of the end portion, the connector comprising: a crossbar extending transversely; a pair of lugs extending axially towards the end piece, the lugs being integrally attached to respective ends of the crossbar and curved in cross section for face-to-face engagement with said inner surface, the lugs being attached permanently to said inner surface; and a tubular portion integrally attached to the crossbar and extending coaxially with the recess and away from the end piece to define a threaded opening extending axially through the crossbar and tubular portion; and a locking screw extending through the opening in the end piece and threadably engaged in said threaded opening whereby said end piece is attached to said tubular end portion in a preferred angular position with respect to said tubular end portion.

2. In a safety rail having a tubular end portion including inner and outer surfaces of respective predetermined internal and external diameters, an end piece defining openings for receiving fasteners to attach the end piece to a wall and the like, and means coupling the end piece to the end portion, the improvement wherein the coupling means comprises: a connector having a crossbar extending transversely, a pair of lugs extending axially towards the end piece, the lugs being integrally attached to respective ends of the crossbar and curved in cross section for face-to-face engagement with said inner surface, the lugs being attached permanently to said inner surface, and a tubular portion integrally attached to the crossbar and extending coaxially with the tubular end portion and away from the end piece to define a threaded opening extending axially through the crossbar and tubular portion; and a locking screw extending through the end piece and threadably en gaged in said threaded opening whereby said end piece is attached to said tubular end portion for angular location at a preferred position relative to the end portion.

3. A safety rail as claimed in claim 1 in which the crossbar is generally rectangular, each of the lugs being attached to a corresponding one of the shorter sides of the rectangular crossbar so that the longer sides of the crossbar are exposed for gripping the connector during assembly of the safety rail.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 in which said connector crossbar is generally rectangular, each of said lugs being attached to a corresponding one of the shorter sides of the rectangular crossbar to that the longer sides of the crossbar are exposed for gripping the connector during assembly of the safety rail.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/251, 256/65.16, 256/59, 256/65.15
International ClassificationF16B9/02, F16B7/18, F16B12/00, A47K3/00, F16B9/00, F16B12/42, A47H1/00, A47H1/102
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/003, F16B7/18, F16B9/026, F16B12/42, A47H1/102
European ClassificationF16B9/02C, A47K3/00B2, F16B7/18, A47H1/102, F16B12/42
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 30, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BREEN HEALTHCARE INC., 53 WEST MAIN STREET, TURBOT
Owner name: W.R. BREEN (CANADA) LIMITED
Effective date: 19850603
Jul 30, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: BREEN HEALTHCARE INC., 53 WEST MAIN STREET, TURBOT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:W.R. BREEN (CANADA) LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:004448/0390
Effective date: 19850603
Apr 25, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: W.R. BREEN (CANADA) LIMITED, 23 TABER ROAD, REXDAL
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNORS:W.R. BREEN CANADA LIMITED;HUBERT INDUSTRIES LIMITED;478716 ONTARIO LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:004394/0699;SIGNING DATES FROM 19831222 TO 19831223
Owner name: W.R. BREEN CANADA LIMITED, 56 ABERFOYLE CRESCET, 2
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNORS:W.R. BREEN CANADA LIMITED;536332 ONTARIO LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:004394/0708
Effective date: 19841221
Apr 25, 1985AS01Change of name
Owner name: 536332 ONTARIO LIMITED
Effective date: 19841221
Owner name: W.R. BREEN CANADA LIMITED
Owner name: W.R. BREEN CANADA LIMITED, 56 ABERFOYLE CRESCET, 2