When you decide to buy a platform lift, you may find yourself confused as to the right type for you. Essentially, platform lifts fall into three categories.The first and most simple is a step lift or low rise vertical platform lift. These types of lifts can be installed at the side of a single step or flight of steps to take the passenger from one level to another whilst leaving the steps clear for other users. Low rise vertical platform lifts provide travel of up to 1 metre and can be used internally or externally, almost all will provide capacity for an accompanying attendant. As the name implies, the lifting platform only travels in a vertical direction.
The second is the inclined stair lift. This provides a level platform fixed to a diagonal runner at the wall side of a staircase. The platform is capable of carrying a wheelchair and travelling from a ground to upper level whilst leaving the steps clear for other users. Inclined platform lifts are used in indoor and outdoor environments in both domestic and commercial locations.
Finally, the third option is an enclosed vertical platform lift. Virtually everyone will have travelled in an enclosed lift; however, platform lifts of this kind do not have the same capacity, speed or travel height range of traditional commercial lifts. They are ideal for domestic premises or smaller commercial buildings allowing the lift to travel up to 9 metres. The lift car is self-supported in a steel structure and requires limited amounts of building alterations by comparison to a traditional lift. As a result, this kind of platform lift is now being installed across the UK in stores, hotels, care and residential homes. Platform lifts of this kind generally are supplied with a self supporting lift structure/shaft that is fixed to a wall. As a result, these lifts can be installed internally or externally. A wide range of standard or bespoke finishes are available to provide harmonious integration into most building aesthetics and colour schemes.
Platform lifts have to conform to strict user safety legislation. Niche will assist and advise on what is required to ensure your lift and its installation are both safe and compliant with the appropriate standards as stated below (at the point of commissioning).
- Low rise platform or step lifts comply with BS 6440:2011 The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- Inclined platform (stair lifts) comply with the European Machine Directive 2006/42/EC
- Enclosed Vertical Platform Lifts comply with the European Machine Directive 2006/42/EC
- The wheelchair user platform lift is frequently used in domestic premises. However, there are robust versions available for commercial and public access applications.
- Larger payload versions are used for passenger conveyance and are designed to be installed in, or at the entrance to, public buildings, stores, restaurants, hotels and office receptions. Typical applications include environments where steps prevent wheelchair users from having the same free movement between floors as a more able-bodied person. As a result of their heavier payload capabilities, they are also used in commercial facilities for transporting goods between floors.
- There is an enclosed vertical platform lift designed specifically for wheelchair users travelling in an upward or downward direction between two floors. The lift is not fully enclosed, compliant with all safety legislation and can be installed at very competitive prices.