Last edited 22 Dec 2020

Wheelchair platform stairlifts

Lifting devices provide vertical transportation between building floors, levels or decks, and are commonly found in offices, public buildings and other types of multi-storey accommodation.

The requirement for lifting devices is set out in Part M of the building regulations; Access to and use of buildings. Approved document M makes clear that passenger lifts are the most suitable form of vertical transportation, however, in some existing buildings, and very occasionally in new buildings, if a passenger lift cannot be accommodated, then a vertical lifting platform (or platform lift) may be considered as an alternative, and in exceptional circumstances in existing buildings, a wheelchair platform may be considered.

Wheelchair platforms, or wheelchair platform stairlifts are only for use by wheelchair users, not for general building users. They travel along the stair string (that is the panel on the side of a flight of stairs to which the treads and risers are fixed) allowing wheelchair users to travel up and down stairs while remaining seated in their wheelchair. They should not restrict the safe use of the stair by other users, and means of escape should be maintained when the wheelchair platform is in the parked position.

Wheelchair platforms are slow moving, limited to 0.15m/s, and so may not be suitable for users with some disabilities. They should be at least 800mm wide and 1250mm deep, with an effective clear width access of at least 800mm.

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