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Commercial lift Technology – How Platform Lifts have paved the way

Anyone who is constructing or remodelling a new commercial or other public building today has to take into account access to it for all potential visitors, in particular those with disabilities. Governments in Europe and North America have passed strict legislation on disability discrimination that stipulates disabled access to commercial and public building such as educational establishments, leisure centres and hospitals.

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A passenger lift that is wide enough for wheelchair access is often the preferred option in commercial buildings. If this is not feasible for structural or aesthetic reasons, a vertical platform lift between two levels is the best alternative. If the second option is also discounted for any reason, then an inclined platform lift that also moves around curves, walls or other obstacles is the best solution.

Platform lifts such as those installed by the Platform Lift Company are ideal ways of demonstrating to customers and employees that a business cares about social needs as well as complying with national regulations. They can be used by individuals with any level of disability on foot or in a wheelchair or disability vehicle over distances of more than 12 feet in one or multiple spans.

These are essentially individual lifts that do not require a shaft. Lifts from the Platform Lift Company can be installed over steps, between floors or around obstacles at different levels on the same floor. A commercial platform lift has to offer a non-skid and highly visible surface in all weathers and lighting conditions. It should have doors, gates and other barriers around it to ensure that the person inside does not fall out.

Although these lifts run on hydraulic mechanisms powered by electricity, they must have a manual system for all contingencies. The lift must be able to work and be used to evacuate people from the building if it is on fire, flooded or suffers power cuts. Its installation must not interfere with any other emergency access in the building. This is especially important for inclined platform lifts. The lift has to have a fail-safe locking device that prevents vandalism and misuse.

One of the most high profile examples of platform lifts in London public buildings is at the British Museum in London. The museum’s front entrance in Great Russell Street stands above an imposing flight of steps that has made it inaccessible to wheelchair users. A platform lift at the side of these steps was installed to allow wheelchair users access to the front entrance. They can reach the top of the steps quickly and do not need to ask for any help in doing so.

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