ASME A18.1 (2014)

Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts

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Annotation and contents

The ASME A18.1 Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts presents certain guides for the design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and repair of inclined stairway chairlifts, and inclined and vertical platform lifts. It covers devices intended for transportation of a mobility-impaired person only—typically within household applications.  The ultimate goal of this Standard is to help protect public safety, while reflecting best-practices of industry.

Key changes to this Edition include:

  • A18.1-2014, paras. 2.9.7 and 5.9.7 were added to allow a mechanical stop to stop the lift platform at the lower landing for direct plunger hydraulic vertical platform lifts. Some types of direct-plunger hydraulic lifts require hydraulic pressure at the lower landing to reset the cylinder(s). Also, paras. 2.9.1 & 5.9.1 are reworded to clarify their intended meaning.
  • The Limitation of Load, Speed, and Travel section revised the rated load to not be less than 250 kg (550 lb.) to accommodate an estimated 90th percentile of users of powered wheelchairs in the U.S.
  • Runway enclosure paras. were revised to remove the allowance of the uppermost doors to be located up to 75 mm (3 in.) from the edge of the landing sill and duplicating the language for the location of the other doors thus requiring flush mounted doors at all landings. This will remove the hazard created by the ledge at the upper most floors, which may cause a wheelchair to overturn on its descent and prevent the potential for anyone from standing on the ledge.
  • Lever screw was added to the list for driving means and sheaves.
  • Revised language in para. 10.1.4 reflects ASME’s recent decision to discontinue accreditation of certifying organizations and allows organizations to seek accreditation elsewhere while continuing certification of inspectors and inspection supervisors to the ASME QEI-1 Standard.

A18.1 offers essential guidance to both public and private sectors:

  • For public sectors, it serves as the basis for state, municipal, and other jurisdictional authorities in drafting regulations governing the installation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of stairway chairlifts and platform lifts.
  • For private sectors, A18.1 provides a standard reference of safety requirements for architects, engineers, insurance companies, manufacturers, and contractors, while delivering safety practices for owners and managers of structures where equipment covered in the Scope of this Standard is used.

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