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Service Providers
This Months Featured Article

Safe Transportation for Consumers Who Use Wheelchairs

Ensuring consumer safety during transportation is critical to risk management. How we secure a person and their wheelchair in a van or bus can mean the difference between a safe journey and a serious incident. Service providers can use the following checklists to help keep riders safe while in transit.

Check Securing the Rider
  Rider has lap/shoulder belt system recommended for their use.
  Lap belt is positioned over the pelvic bones (not abdomen).
  Lap belt is inside the armrests, between the side panels and the seat cushion.
  Lap belt is snug.
  Shoulder belt does not cross the consumer's face or neck.
  Shoulder belt is not under the rider's arm where it would cross the rib cage.
  Shoulder belt is adjusted to achieve firm but comfortable tension.
  Lap belt and shoulder belt lie flat against the body (not twisted).
Check Securing the Wheelchair
  Wheelchair is facing forward.
  Brakes on both sides are set.
  Power is off on motorized wheelchairs.
  Wheelchair is centered between the anchors on the floor.
  Wheelchair is anchored at 4 points according to manufacturer's instructions.
  Type of front straps match.
  Type of back straps match.
  Each wheelchair is secured with its own tie-down system.
  Strap hooks are secured to the appropriate positions on front and rear of wheelchair frame.
  Back strap is tightened first.
  Straps are not attached to wheels or detachable parts.
  Straps are not criss-crossed or twisted.
  Straps do not wrap around objects.
  Straps are secured away from sharp edges and corners.

Safe Lift Operation

Steps Procedures Check
Placing the vehicle:
  • Stop vehicle on level surface.
  • Make sure there is room for lift platform to open without hitting and obstacles.
  • Put vehicle in Park.
  • Set the parking brake.
Opening doors:
  • Open lift doors from outside the vehicle.
  • Securely lock doors in open position.
Deploying the lift:
  • Operate lift from the ground.
  • Do not remain in vehicle while raising and lowering lift platform.
  • Lower lift platform until it rests entirely on the ground.
  • Unfold outboard roll stop.
  • Ensure wheelchair seatbelt is secured.
Approaching passengers:
  • Greet passengers and ask if they would like assistance boarding lift.
  • If lift is A.D.A.* approved, the passenger may ride on the lift facing the van.
  • If lift is not A.D.A. approved, explain potential hazard to the passenger and request that the passenger ride on the lift with their back to the vehicle. (Under the A.D.A., it is the rider's choice).
  • If lift is equipped with a safety belt, ensure it is attached and secure.
Operating the lift:
  • Set wheel chair locks.
  • Have the rider hold onto handrails, if possible.
  • Remind the rider to keep arms and hands within the lift area and clear of moving parts.
  • Stand on the ground with one hand on wheelchair and one hand operating the controls.
  • Raise platform 2-3 inches.
  • Check front safety barrier to make sure it is locked.
  • Continue raising lift platform to floor level.
Transferring the vehicle:
  • Put lift controls in secure position with one hand while holding onto the wheelchair with the other.
  • Release wheelchair wheel locks.
  • Push the rider in their wheelchair into the van.
  • Reach in and lock wheels.
  • Fold the lift into the travel position and shut doors.
  • Use reversed sequence of procedures.

*Americans with Disabilities Act

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