| Form 31 – Lift Operation Procedures and Checklist
Wheelchair lifts make it possible to load wheelchairs of all weights in an efficient and safe manner. However, lifts are potentially hazardous equipment. They must be maintained and operated properly. Considerable caution and awareness is needed when operating a lift. No one but the vehicle operator should operate the vehicle wheelchair lift. Lifts may differ slightly in structure and operation. Therefore, each vehicle operator should be familiar with all the lifts likely to be used.
These are general procedures that will apply to all lifts. The Sponsoring Agency may have specific policies pertaining to wheelchair lift operations. It is recommended that you check with your supervisor concerning these policies.
Loading Riders Who Use Wheel Chairs: Checklist
A. Upon arriving at your destination:
1. Stop on level ground. □
2. Make certain there is room for the lift platform to open without hitting obstacles. □
3. Put vehicle in Park, not Neutral. The lift will not work if the transmission is in Neutral. □
4. Set the parking brake. □
B. Opening doors:
1. Open lift doors from outside vehicle. □
2. Securely lock doors in open position. □
C. Deploying the lift:
1. The lift is always operated from the ground. □
2. Do not remain in the vehicle while raising and lowering the lift platform. □
3. Lower the lift platform until it rests entirely on the ground. □
4. Unfold the outboard roll stop. □
5. Fasten the wheelchair seatbelt around the rider. □
D. Interacting with passengers and getting onto the lift platform:
1. Greet passengers; talk to them, not around them. □
2. Ask passenger if they would like assistance in getting onto the lift platform. □
3. If lift is ADA approved, the passenger may ride on the lift facing the van. □
4. If the lift is not ADA approved, explain the potential hazard and request that the passenger
ride on the lift with their back to the vehicle. Remember under the ADA, it is the rider’s choice. □
5. If the lift is equipped with a safety belt make certain that it is attached and secure. □
E. Lift operation:
1. Set the wheel chair locks. □
2. Have the rider hold on the handrails if able □
3. Remind the rider to keep arms and hands within the lift area and clear of moving parts. □
4. Stand on ground with one hand on the wheelchair and one hand operating the controls. □
Loading Riders Who Use Wheel Chairs (continued): Checklist
5. Raise the platform only a couple of inches. □
6. Check the front safety barrier to make sure it is locked. □
7. Continue raising the lift platform to the floor level. □
F. Transferring to the vehicle:
1. Put lift controls in secure position with one hand while holding onto the wheelchair with the other. □
2. Release the wheelchair wheel locks. □
3. Push the wheelchair into the van. □
4. Reach in and lock the wheels. □
5. Fold the lift into the travel position and shut the doors. □
G. Unloading: Use a logical reversed sequence for unloading.
Notes on power chairs and scooters
Caution is needed when loading a power wheelchair onto a lift. If the chairs power is left on, there is potential for the chair to move while on the lift, even if the brakes are applies. Many individuals operating these chairs are slow in reaction, or may have involuntary movements which may cause their hand or arm to hit the control stick. It is recommended that the power sources be disengaged while lifting a power wheelchair.
Boarding standees on the lift
The ADA allows anyone who wishes to board the vehicle standing on the lift. The procedures for loading a standee are similar to those used for boarding a person in a wheelchair. With an ADA approved lift the person should board facing inward after the roll stop has been lowered. The person should be encouraged to let go of any mobility device like a walker and to grasp the hand rails. The safety belt, if there is one, should be secured behind the standee. Once the lift is in level with the floor of the van, the standee should be instructed to move into the vehicle.
When transporting people who use walking aids, it is the driver’s responsibility to store the walking aid in a safe and secure place. Ask the passenger if there is a special way they would like the walking aid to be handled. If a passenger is using a cane, they may prefer to keep it with them.
Manual operation of the lift
Most lifts are equipped with a hydraulic pump located within the plastic motor housing on the side of the lift. A steel pump arm is found on the outside of the housing or the lift frame.
Lowering: To lower the platform manually, turn the bleeder valve, located near the pump opening, just enough to allow the platform to drop slowly. Do not unscrew it too far or hydraulic fluid will leak. When the platform has reached the ground tighten the valve.
Raising: To raise the platform, insert the pump arm into the pump opening. Pump the arm. The platform will rise very slowly.