The 2010 Equality Act states that public and commercial settings and organisations have a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to improve access to buildings and services. As a business owner or employer, commercial stairlifts could be a convenient and cost-effective way to stay compliant with UK legislation and improve the experience of staff, visitors, or customers who struggle to use stairs.
Lightweight and versatile they can be installed pretty much anywhere they’re needed. Commercial stairlifts may be found in:
- nursing and residential homes
- cinemas etc.
Improve Accessibility with Commercial Stairlifts
Installing a stairlift in your commercial setting can help to remove the obstacle of the stairs if a lift or elevator is not present.
Lift installation can be an expensive and complex task, and may not be a suitable solution for some properties, for example, smaller buildings with no extra space to add an elevator or period listed buildings that are protected from structural renovations and changes.
This is when a stairlift comes in handy. Relatively low-cost and easy to install, compact stairlifts can be fitted in to narrow spaces. And thanks to modern installation techniques they can be fitted without altering or damaging the walls of a property.
Choosing a Commercial Stairlift
Choosing a stairlift will come down to the needs of your customers, staff, or visitors, the needs of your property, and your budget.
Here are some things to consider:
- How frequently is the stairlift is likely to be used? If your stairlift is likely to experience a lot of traffic each week, it may be worth investing in the most durable and reliable stairlift you can find.
- Will the maximum weight limit accommodate your stairlift users? Most stairlifts can carry around 20 stone in weight, however, heavy-duty stairlifts have a 25-30 stone capacity.
- What kind of staircase do you have? You’ll need a straight stairlift if your stairs go from top to bottom in a continuous straight line. You’ll need a curved stairlift if your stairs have a turn, curve, or half-landing on the staircase.
- How much room do you have? Standard stairlifts fold away neatly when not in use so people can walk past it with restriction, but compact slimline stairlifts offer some extra wiggle room if space is at a premium or your stairs are narrow.
- Do you need your stairlift to blend in with your surroundings? Most modern stairlifts feature a contemporary design which would work well in a retail space or office block, however, if you’re installing a stairlift in a listed building, for example, you may need to think about customising the chair and rail to complement the aesthetic of the period.
Commercial Stairlift Requirements
Nominate a Stairlift Supervisor or Supervisors | Stairlift supervisors should be the only people with access to the stairlift key. Stairlift keys help to isolate the chair and prevent unauthorised use. Having a member of staff overseeing the stairlift operation will ensure the stairlift is used correctly, safely, and for its intended purpose (i.e. lifting people and not transporting boxes or other heavy items).
Check Your Powerpoints | Before you install a stairlift, check out the stairlift electrical requirements. Because stairlifts charge via the mains electricity supply when they’re not being used, they’ll need a Powerpoint of their own. This way they’ll always be ready for use, and won’t lose charge if they’re unplugged for things like vacuuming each day.
Health & Safety | A commercial stairlift will need to meet health and safety regulations. Your stairlift should be serviced and safety tested at least once a year, to ensure it’s in good working order and is safe for the public to use.
If you want to find out more about installing a commercial stairlift, speak to our team today. They can help you understand your requirements, and make recommendations to help make choosing your stairlift easier. Call us today on 0800 644 7766 for honest unbiased advice.