Equality Act 2010
From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The aim of the Act is to end prejudice against less able people. It has been significantly extended and now gives less able people rights in the following areas: Renting or buying land or property, education, employment, access to goods, facilities and services, clubs, sports, associations and activities. Where there is restriction in the vertical circulation within a building the provision of a lifting platform may provide a solution.
Under the Equality Act, service providers and workplaces are to make reasonable provisions and/or adjustments to overcome physical features, which obstruct the less able to access facilities. To overcome a physical feature means to either remove it, alter it , provide an alternative access route, or make services available to the less able in another way.
There is an obligation to ensure that access is provided for the less able to ensure compliance with the Equality Act. Regarding vertical circulation this can be implemented by the use of ramps, lifts or lifting platforms.
Design and access statement
Designers can put forward the type of lifting device within the access statement that in their opinion is suitable depending on the environment and usage among other factors. The Requirements of Platform Lifts are contained in Part M of the Building Regulations, BS:8300 (called up within the regulation), BS:6440 and EN81-41.