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Last edited 16 Apr 2021
Disabled access lifts
Disabled access lifts are increasingly important in the modern world, as more businesses and even private homes are adapting to become accessible for all. With over 9 million people in the UK suffering from a disability which affects their daily life, this is a significant issue.
Even more so, as a result of the Equality Act 2010, a document which indicates that those with disabilities should receive the same service as those that are not. The Act calls this a duty to make reasonable adjustments.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include providing ramps, stairway lifts, widening doorways, installing automatic doors, and providing clearer lighting or signs. In many cases, platform lifts are the chosen form of access for wheelchair users for businesses. They are a highly flexible option and can be adapted in size to fit their environment, making them a viable option for home use also.
A platform lift is essentially a platform which is raised and lowered by the power of hydraulics or in some cases a traction system. In a hydraulic powered lift, the platform is attached to a hydraulic ram. The lift is moved as hydraulic fluid is pushed via a pump from a reservoir and into the ram. This then extends and the platform rises, in order to lower it the flow of the fluid is reversed. Additional space is needed for this system to work, but it is easy to maintain as result.
Platform lifts can also be powered through an encapsulated chain drive system. A chain is encased within a durable plastic casing, guiding the chains' movement and removing the possibility of slipping almost entirely. The chain is attached to a driveshaft which is powered by a motor and gearbox, this rotates and the chain is either pulled or pushed causing the platform to either ascend or descend.
The flexibility of a platform lift is not only restricted to placement but also style as they are easily modified to fit the modern or more traditional aesthetic depending upon the building of installation. They are intended to complement their environment and be a tool for accessibility.
For safety reasons, the stability of platform lists is supremely important. This safety is maintained by securing all four corners of the support for the front-end wall, ensuring the user is safely conveyed without difficulty to the appropriate height. Four lifting motors are accurately synchronised with precision control to ensure a smooth ascent of descent. Maximum lifting height is around 125 cm for safety reasons.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Accessibility in the built environment.
- Approved Document M.
- Balance for Better: Why lack of diversity is an issue for everyone.
- Braille signage and accessibility.
- Disability Discrimination Act DDA.
- Equality Act.
- Firefighting lift.
- Inclusive design.
- Lifts and Escalators: A Quality Perspective.
- Lifts for buildings.
- Platforms lifts and how they benefit people.
- Wheelchair platform stairlift.
--Nathan Massey 14:25, 11 Jul 2017 (BST)
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