Different Uses for Platform Lifts
Contemplating a lift for your business? There are numerous reasons as to why the decision to have one installed may benefit your company.
For starters, one of the most obvious improvements a lift grants is better access to the building. Such an addition can consequently, be an invaluable asset to those living with a disability. However, what many fail to consider is the vast range of other benefits that come with having a lift installed at your commercial business. In fact, lifts are practically becoming a necessity in the modern day world, rather than a luxury as they were perhaps once viewed several decades ago.
Yet, there are still a range of common misconceptions about their installation, such as their cost and the amount of space required to house one. With their new energy efficient technology and with platform lifts offering smaller footprints; lifts are becoming ever more versatile and affordable.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to ‘make reasonable adjustments to any elements of the job which place a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.’ This is similarly the case for students and customers of service/goods providers. For commercial businesses, the obligation could potentially cover all of the abovementioned parties. It is, therefore, paramount that an assessment is carried out of the business regarding what would be considered ‘reasonable’ alterations or changes in the name of disabled access.
There are different forms of disability. Commonly people view lifts as aiding those who make use of a wheelchair however, many of those who do not make use of a wheelchair could also benefit from their use.
Limited Mobility: Lifts are a useful aid for those who experience limited mobility, whether through a long-term condition, a disability or when recovering from an injury.
Visual Impairment: Lifts can also benefit those with visual impairments. A range of customisable designs and features such as; an LED display control panel, tactile buttons, Braille and colour-contrasting doors can also help to improve a visually impaired lift user’s experience.
Lifts allow for the safe transport of an injured person between floors, as they are likely to offer a smoother and safer journey than one in which medics attempt to carry or support an injured person down a flight of stairs.
In a medical emergency (one in which paramedics have to attend the scene); a lift can spare valuable minutes – something which could potentially save a life.
Trekking up several flights of stairs with medical equipment would likely take more time, and paramedics, where possible, would aim to conserve energy in order to effectively run the call and treat the patient in their optimum state (i.e. not out of breath).
Parents & Infants
Although many modern-day prams and pushchairs are now being designed in a manner that allows them to be collapsed into a smaller, more compact state; as contraptions, they are still heavy and cumbersome when trying to navigate a flight of stairs. Carrying a pushchair up or down stairs with a child can be dangerous, however; many have attempted to do this, even before removing the child. Most parents, therefore, choose to either abandon the empty pram at the bottom of the flight of stairs (a potential hazard in terms of fire safety and evacuation) or simply choose to move on to a different store with better access.
According to research carried out by Aviva, ‘First-time UK parents spend more than £492 million each year’ on baby related items alone. However, other essentials also need to be bought for families, such food and washing detergent. Businesses may, therefore, want to think twice about losing out on this slice of the market over
access issues, especially when there are versatile lifts such as the energy-efficient Optimum 100 platform lift which has a small footprint, meaning it requires limited space.
‘The law does not identify a maximum weight limit. It places duties on employers to manage or control risk; measures to take to meet this duty will vary depending on the circumstances of the task. Things to be considered will include the individual carrying out the handling operation, e g strength, fitness, underlying medical conditions, the weight to be lifted and distance to be carried, the nature of the load or the postures to be adopted or the availability of equipment to facilitate the lift.’
A lift may therefore help to reduce injuries relating to manual handling such as sprains, strains and even fractures.