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Vertical Platform Lift Safety Alert March 2019
The LOLER Lifting Regulations require regular inspections of vertical platform lifts every 6 months. Platform lifts are typically used by wheelchair users, parents with buggies or people with reduced mobility, to move between the floors of a building. They include safety devices which are designed to prevent the doors from opening until the platform lift is at a landing floor. Whilst regular inspections are carried out, problems could arise where maintenance or modification is carried out in the interim, which could compromise passenger safety.
The HSE has recently published a Safety Alert relating to Platform Lifts (vertical lifting platforms), following a number of incidents where safety devices have been tampered, inappropriately maintained or where the doors / hinges have deteriorated. Any of these could allow doors to open when the lift is not correctly positioned at the landing, and this could put users, who often have impaired mobility, at significant risk of falling from height into or becoming crushed beneath the platform.
The issues identified by the HSE outlined in the alert resulting from inappropriate maintenance include bent door lock switch contacts; shortened door lock pins; incorrect adjustment of Bowden cables; missing screws; poor adjustment of unlocking zone bypass mechanisms; and damage to doors and door frames.
The HSE Safety alert states that maintenance must be carried out by competent personnel and that any modifications made must not affect safe operation of the lift. It also states that, in addition to regular maintenance and inspection of vertical lifts, daily safety checks should be carried out by a competent person, to ensure that the landing doors cannot be opened when the lift is not at the correct level and that platforms are unable to travel unless the doors are closed and locked.
As well as targeting companies providing lift maintenance, the HSE also wants owners and operators of lifts to take responsibility for ensuring equipment is regularly inspected and serviced.
Links to more information about platform lift safety from the HSE
- L113 Safe use of lifting equipment Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998: Approved Code of Practice and guidance
- INDG 339 Thorough examination and testing of lifts – Simple guidance for lift owners
Vertical Platform lift inspections
If you own or operate a vertical lifting platform, are you complying with this safety alert?
If in doubt, contact ISI and we can arrange a full inspection for you.