Lift safety is a vital consideration for any property owners, particularly when the lifts are accessed by vulnerable people, such as in a care facility. Lifts in care homes are used for a myriad of purposes, from enabling access for the elderly to transporting equipment between floors and maintaining a high level of security.
As a care home manager or building owner, you can’t afford to risk the security of the building nor the safety of its residents, so we’ve summarised the most important lifting considerations for care homes in this piece.
When fitting a new lift or replacing an existing one in a care home, you must first consider its wider usage and make sure the result is fit-for-purpose. A care home lift is not just a standard passenger lift, as it will typically need to be large enough to house a hospital bed or trolley. For this reason, you should always choose to work with an experienced lift fitter and engineer from the beginning of the project, as they will advise on any architectural considerations that may affect the lift’s suitability for purpose.
Further to the above, lift accessibility is vital in a care home setting. From the inclusion of braille on lift buttons to the fitting of secure handles throughout the lift, you need to ensure your lift is accessible to all potential users.
There are also a series of strict regulations as detailed in the Equality Act 2010 regarding wheelchair accessibility in lifts. Every building owner must make ‘reasonable adjustments for disabled people’ and this is just as relevant in care homes, where both residents and visitors may require wheelchair access to any floor of the building as well as hand rails and other adaptions.
In terms of lift design, many elderly occupants of care facilities are visually or audibly-impaired, requiring design choices such as larger signage and clear colour coordination with yellow or red to signify danger.
Make sure you are considering the lift users, as well as legislation when making decisions. Lift compliance is more than just box-checking, it’s an essential part of lift safety for all users.
Paramount for any building owner, contingency planning is even more important for care homes as any life failure or accident is likely to affect vulnerable people. Ensure your staff are clued up on lift safety with Passenger Release Training and keep it at the forefront of their minds.
Remember: contingency planning is just that and most safety issues can be mitigated by making sure your lifts are regularly maintained by a professional lift engineer, and your LOLER compliance is up to date.
In a care home, a lift is more than just a means of accessing each floor – it’s an extra layer of security to keep residents and staff safe. If you’ve visited a care home, you may have noticed that the lifts tend to require PIN access, so only authorised personnel can access each area of the building.
With so much to consider, it’s critical that you bring a lift engineer on-board as early in a project as possible. Whether you are building a new care home or you’re refurbishing an existing facility, then get in touch with Rise Elevator to book a consultation with our expert lift engineers.