ADA Compliance while Installing Vehicle Lifts for Wheelchairs Columbia SC
Installing wheel chair lifts in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements can be a troublesome but doing so creates a safe and nationwide standard that allows our disabled loved ones easily move around without a struggle. Installing a vehicle lift in accordance with these guidelines doesn’t have to be an impossible goal though. With a little time and elbow grease wheelchair vehicle lifts Columbia, SC can be properly installed within ADA guidelines in little time.
ADA Guideline’s Flexibility
While the ADA has carved out specific dimensions for vehicle lifts not all of these are absolute. The law considers, on a case by case basis, some differences an acceptable departure if It allows for greater accessibility over all. For example, making a platform on a bus lift slightly stronger to accommodate a community with heavier chairs.
Additionally, there is also something called the “miscellaneous instructions” which Is important to take into account before consulting the ADA’s written guidelines and any vehicle lift installation is done. These are as follows:
- Dimensional conventions. Dimensions that are not noted as minimum or maximum are absolute.
- Dimensional tolerances. All dimensions are subject to conventional engineering tolerances for material properties and field conditions, including normal anticipated wear not exceeding accepted industry-wide standards and practices.
- Notes. The text of these guidelines does not contain notes or footnotes. Additional information, explanations, and advisory materials are located in the Appendix.
- Comply with means meet one or more specification of these guidelines.
- If or if then denotes a specification that applies only when the conditions described are present.
- May denotes an option or alternative.
- Shall denotes a mandatory specification or requirement.
- Should denotes an advisory specification or recommendation.
What Affects Me?
Much of the written guideline is actually about buses and public transportation (as the guidelines state any vehicle more than 22 feet most be within these guidelines exactly). Ultimately, there’s not much a private person has to do with their lift but there are some guidelines that they would be wise to consider.
One of the first takeaways a private resident can get from the ADA’s requirements is the interlocked break system with the wheelchair lift. And interlocked brake system would mean that unless the lift is properly stowed away or currently holding a load the car would not be able to make any significant movement. Moreover, there should be some way to lower the lift should there be an emergency, so making sure your lift has a backup hand crank even if it is electric would be ideal.
Similarly, there should be some measure in place to ensure that any lift that folds out or lowered is not able to slam down or fall in the event of an exceeded load. Likewise, including some kind of railing or barrier around a lift platform to assist the chair from rolling off in the event of a restraint break is not a bad idea either.
The ADA guidelines suggest that handrails be available for disabled persons while navigating on and to the chair lift. They should have a usable length of at least 1 1/4th inch to hold on to and be able to withstand a force of 100 lbs. (445 Newtons) being applied to them in any direction. The official guideline also instructs that a platform should not tilt more than three degrees while a lift is in use and carrying a load within its weight range. This is to prevent any equipment from rolling off should the restraints not be properly buckled.
Just a reminder that these are not quite laws, but these guidelines will greatly improve the safety and health of everyone using a vehicle lift. If you’re interested in learning more, you can look up the ADA guidelines online at http://www.fta.dot.gov/12876_3905.html.
In the event that any of our customers needs assistance in installing or checking their wheelchair car lift we here at Affordable Medical USA, a mobility scooter repairs Columbia, can assist you. Come into our store on 1538 Sunset Boulevard or call us at 803-926-2224 and we can get you into contact with a certified professional. They can double check a previous installation for safety or install it for the first time.