JCH Safety wanted to make sure everyone is aware of a HSE Safety Alert that has been issued regarding vertical platform lifts for people with impaired mobility.

Platform LiftsPlatform lifts provide access for people between floors and are either hydraulically or electrically powered. The HSE has issued a warning relating to a number of incidents that have occurred due to safety devices having been tampered with; and also due to inappropriate maintenance of door switches or unlocking zone bypass switches, during maintenance. The hazard associated with this issue is that landing doors have opened when the platform lift is not at that landing -meaning there is potential of people stepping onto the lift when the platform is not at that floor. This has resulted in members of the public or workers falling down the open well or becoming trapped beneath a descending platform. As you can image, this hazard has the potential of causing significant harm and could even result in a fatality. Once a significant risk has been identified it is important to ensure that you have a risk assessment in place.

If you have platform lifts, please check your maintenance records, carry out a visual inspection and consult with your lift maintenance company. If you have a service agreement with a health and safety company, have a word with them about this issue to obtain further information. Please check that your risk assessment includes this issue stating the controls that you have in place for eliminating this risk. We have produced a previous blog about ‘How to Conduct a Risk Assessment’ which will help you to do this.

We hope you might find this update useful and all being well it can prevent an accident from happening.

JCH Safety welcome contact from all schools, churches, building contractors and businesses in and around Coventry and the West Midlands. As one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s leading health and safety consultancy firms we can provide assistance in relation to all aspects of health and safety as well as fire risk management services. Please feel free to look at our website which tells you more about our services and provides access to a large catalogue of online health and safety training.

If you need assistance in relation to this safety alert or regarding any other fire safety or health and safety issue please get in touch.