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Old 08-01-2016, 10:40 PM   #1
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Considering making a wheelchar lift - have safety questions


Greetings all!
I recently ran across this YouTube video:


It got me thinking about the potential to use a similar design for my father in law who's house is sorely in need of a wheelchair lift to the second floor of his home.

Some things of note - first, I'm only in the thinking phase. Second, I realize there are serious safety considerations to be had and that's why I'm here.

Using a combination of the plans this gentleman affords in his YouTube comments and some ideas of my own, making and implementing the lift itself seems totally doable. I don't doubt my abilities to construct or install this product, but what I am concerned about is adding additional safety measures to protect passengers in the lift.

Things I have going for me:

First - the house itself is in Mexico and is built entirely from concrete. This means I can secure rails directly into 4" thick concrete and know its not going anywhere.

Second - The proposed location for the lift would allow for two complete concrete walls to secure railings to. As mentioned above, they are no less than 4" thick.

Third - Rather than make the basket out of wood, I have a friend who is going to weld it out of square tube for me, complete with swinging gate for entry and exit.

Fourth - I have carte blanche to design and implement this thing as I see fit. Meaning encumbrances for safety measures are not an issue.

The electric hoists and/or winches I'm considering all have load brakes on them. This means that if the motor itself fails, it will do so in a locked position. This only serves in the event of power loss or motor failure though.

Because of the young ages of some of my nieces and nephews who visit my in-laws regularly, I'd wire the controller into a key lock switch so that the lift could only be operated by my father in law who would have the key.

I had also thought to add manual safety locks to the basket so that once it reaches the top floor, metal rods can be set into the walls (also concrete) as to add additional security while the basket is up.

I know I'm nuts to consider this but given the sheer volume of videos for this exact purpose on YouTube, clearly i'm not the first person to do this.

What I was hoping was for additional ideas for safety mechanisms that can be put into place to make this idea safer. I'd like to get from plans to build phase in the next 30-45 days with an install date of sometime late November if possible (provided I can make it safer of course).

Any thoughts on some additional safety mechanisms I can put in place? Other things I should consider?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
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Re: Considering making a wheelchar lift - have safety questions


Elevator fall prevention locks on the rail, in case the cable ever breaks.

A cage around the thing, with a sealing door on the first floor, in case a toddler tries to get under the lift in the up position, and grampa don't know and tries to go downstairs.

An anti roll-off flap on the lift, that flips up when it lifts off, and flips down when it gets to the floor. To keep the chair from accidently rolling off.

Stop sensors like a garage door has in case something gets under it , to reverse the lift until the item is removed manually.

Heavy duty Square tubing, not the thin flimsy stuff.

There is probably more safety features to be thought of later.


ED
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Considering making a wheelchar lift - have safety questions


You and already recognize the safety issues with doing something like this. I didn't look at all the videos to see exactly how we built it but you would probably need to build it for at least twice the intended weight for a safety factor. Since you are going to be building it in Mexico building codes won't be a problem. How tall of lift are you going to be building?

I'm sure a lot of people are going to come out here things is no way you should be doing it. Which I'm inclined to say too, but you have a grasp on the safety considerations that need to be taken it sounds like you should be capable of doing it safely.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:27 PM   #4
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Re: Considering making a wheelchar lift - have safety questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
Elevator fall prevention locks on the rail, in case the cable ever breaks.

A cage around the thing, with a sealing door on the first floor, in case a toddler tries to get under the lift in the up position, and grampa don't know and tries to go downstairs.

An anti roll-off flap on the lift, that flips up when it lifts off, and flips down when it gets to the floor. To keep the chair from accidently rolling off.

Stop sensors like a garage door has in case something gets under it , to reverse the lift until the item is removed manually.

Heavy duty Square tubing, not the thin flimsy stuff.

There is probably more safety features to be thought of later.


ED
I am very curious by what you mean by Elevator fall prevention locks. Is this a product I can purchase at someplace?

I had already thought about the roll off flap as well but forgot to include it. It will also serve as a lip to cover any gap between the cage and the second floor landing.

Stop sensors are a good idea I hadn't thought of. I'm sure they can easily be incorporated.

And yeah, the square tubing will be the good stuff with trolleys from McMaster Carr to fit.

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:42 PM   #5
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Re: Considering making a wheelchar lift - have safety questions


They are on every commercial elevator, they sense when the cage is moving down too fast, and electro-magnetically lock the car in place.

Originally invented by OTIS in the early 20th? century.

Are mandatory for safety probably everywhere by now.

I used to care for MOM in a wheelchair, and occasionally had to carry her and her chair up stairs, So I understand your desire to help out your FIL.

GOOD FOR YOU, TAKING CARE OF THE OLDER GENERATION.

Too often these days it's put em in a home , pay someone else to care for our elders.

Ok, enough of the peeves department.


ED
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