4-Step Safety Checklist For Loading An Occupied Wheelchair Into Your Van

If you have a loved one who is confined to a wheelchair, you may have purchased a special wheelchair van in which you can take them places. If so, use the safety checklist below to make sure you safely load your family member into the van.

Step 1:  Examine The Lift While Lowering It To The Ground

As you lower the van's lift to the ground, examine it carefully as it moves. Look for any signs that a bolt has come free, such as a shaking platform or an uneven appearance suggesting the lift is no longer level.

If you suspect a bolt has come loose, use a wrench to tighten each one. Then, raise and lower the lift to see if there are any improvements. If so, proceed to the next step.

Step 2:  Lock The Wheelchair Into Place On The Lift

Once you are confident that the lift is securely fastened to the van, load your loved one and their wheelchair onto the platform. Once you have centered the chair, use the brakes to lock the wheelchair into place.

Lock the chair itself using the straps or attachments on the lift. Then, give the handles a couple of tugs to make sure the wheelchair is secure. Then, proceed to the next step.

Step 3:  Test The Lift Before Raising It Completely

After the wheelchair is secure on the lift, test the lift by raising it a couple of inches above the ground. Look for any signs of instability, such as the wheelchair shifting or the platform becoming unlevel.

If you see either of these signs, lower the wheelchair, and go through the first two steps again. If not, raise the lift, and go on to the fourth step.

Step 4:  Secure All Straps Around The Wheelchair Once Inside The Van

Once you have raised the lift, unlock the chair from the platform, and guide the wheelchair into place inside the van. As you move the chair, pull the straps out to keep them away from the wheels.

After the chair is in place, lock the wheelchair's brakes, then strap the chair in according to the manufacturer's instructions. Then, try to move the wheelchair to ensure it's secure.

Using the four-step safety checklist each time you load an occupied wheelchair into your van can prevent falls and potential injuries. However, if you still have any questions or concerns on how your particular wheelchair van operates, you may want to speak with the representative of the business from which you purchased the van. Contact a company like Lone Star Handicap Vans to learn more.