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12 December 2017

Hoists

A hoist is an essential part of a Changing Places toilet.

It eliminates the need to lift a person manually, thus reducing the strain on carers' backs and therisk of injury to the person being transferred. It aids access to the changing bench, so carers no longer have to use the toilet floor for changing. 

A hoist reduces the need for extra help and allows someone who cannot self-transfer to move about the room with comfort and dignity. 

Hoists are available in a variety of types to meet different needs and can be custom made to fit specific spaces. 

 


Types of hoists

Powered overhead hoists

An overhead track hoist, which can reduce the manual handling risks to carers and increases the floor space available, should be provided where possible.

Ceiling track hoists

This equipment is operated electrically and is used to lift people. It is permanently fixed to the ceiling of a particular room/space.

Straight or curved tracks:

This describes a length of track that extends over a set distance and is permanently fixed in one room. A powered motor lifts the person to or from any point along the length of the track. The person can be moved along the track either manually or using power. The track can be straight, between two areas of the room (for example, the toilet and changing bench) with space for pick up between the two or at either end. This usually follows the most direct route between the pieces of equipment. A curved piece of track can be used to link pieces of equipment where a straight track does not provide adequate access.

Pros
  • As with other hoists, it reduces the need for manual effort and risks associated with transfers
  • They eliminate the need to lift a person manually
  • They reduce the strain on carers' backs and the physical effort required to carry out transfers
  • They prevent the need for carers to use the toilet floor for changing
  • They can reduce the need for extra help
  • They can reduce the risk of injury to carers and the person being transferred
  • The motor is mains or battery powered and may have battery back up in case of power failure
  • Leaves the floor free, reducing trip hazards and leaving room for storage space
  • They can be used in confined spaces that are unsuitable for mobile hoists
  • Hand held controls on the flex increase maneuverability
  • The person being hoisted can retain some independence if they are able to use controls
  • They are available in a variety of types, sizes and shapes to meet individual needs
  • They are often custom made to fit specific spaces
  • They should always be chosen with good advice to meet your specific needs
Cons
  • They are fixed permanently
  • Transfers can only be done along the length of the track in that specific room
  • They may not reach other pieces of equipment in the room that are not covered by the track
  • It may be necessary to check the structural integrity of the building before installation
  • They require compatible slings

X Y tracks:

This describes electrically operated equipment used to lift people. The equipment is permanently fixed to the ceiling. It allows a person to be lifted or transferred to/from ANY area within the room. The hoist motor moves both across the X and Y axis, covering the whole room and providing access to all the facilities - for example, the toilet, the changing bench and the wheelchair.

Pros
  • As with other hoists, it reduces the need for manual effort and risks associated with transfers
  • They eliminate the need to lift a person manually
  • They reduce the strain on carers' backs and the physical effort required to carry out transfers
  • They prevent the need for carers to use the toilet floor for changing
  • They can reduce the need for additional assistance
  • They can reduce the risk of injury to carers and the person being transferred
  • All areas of the room and pieces of equipment can be accessed using this hoist
  • They provide flexibility if the room needs to be used in a different way in future
  • The motor is mains or battery powered and may have battery back up in case of power failure
  • Leaves the floor free, reducing trip hazards and leaving room for storage space
  • They can be used in confined spaces unsuitable for mobile hoists
  • Hand held controls on the flex provide increased maneuverability
  • The person being hoisted can retain some independence if they are able to use the controls
  • They are available in a variety of types, sizes and shapes to meet individual needs
  • They can be custom made to fit specific spaces
  • They should always be chosen with good advice to meet your specific needs
Cons
  • The equipment is fixed permanently
  • It may be necessary to check the structural integrity of the building before installation 

Gantry hoists

This describes a freestanding floor-based frame with an overhead hoist motor that is suspended along a length of horizontal track. This equipment is not permanently fixed.

Pros
  • As with other hoists, it reduces the need for manual effort and risks associated with transfers
  • Useful where fixed overhead tracks cannot be fitted
  • Can be dismantled and used in different spaces/environments
  • Can be located in a variety of positions in any room to meet individual transfer needs
  • Cons
  • Transfers and set down points are restricted by the length of the track and the chosen position, as they may not reach other pieces of equipment in the room not covered by the track
  • Can be awkward to dismantle and heavy to move
  • Positioning of the track may be hindered by the environment, for example, if the room is crowded by furniture or there are floor space limitations
  • They do not always feel as stable as permanently fixed hoists

Floor/wall fixed overhead hoists

These are a permanently fixed wall or floor-based pole that can be swung through an arc between two transfer points.

Pros
  • As with other hoists, it reduces the need for manual effort and risks associated with transfers
  • Useful where fixed overhead tracks cannot be fitted
  • Can feel more stable than non-permanently fixed hoists
  • Can be used where space is limited
  • Useful for specific transfers, for example, wheelchair to toilet
Cons:
  • Are permanently fixed
  • Provide for a limited range of transfers 

Mobile hoists

A mobile hoist should only be used in a public Changing Places toilet where it is not possible to install a tracking hoist. A mobile hoist consists of a moveable piece of equipment designed to transfer a person between two points using fabric slings. The lifting mechanism is usually battery operated, however, moving the hoist AND the person requires manual effort, for example, across the room between a changing bench and toilet.

Pros
  • As with other hoists, it reduces the need for manual effort and risks associated with transfers
  • Can be used where it is not possible to install permanent wall/ceiling fixed hoists
  • Available in a range of types and sizes
  • Batteries often detach for charging purposes
  • They are not permanently fixed; therefore can be used in different rooms/spaces
Cons
  • Batteries need regular charging and a charging point
  • Detached batteries can be lost
  • Moveable pieces of equipment can be removed from the site
  • The hoist AND person still need to be physically moved, for example, across the room between toilet and changing bench. They can be heavy and difficult to maneuver
  • Some smaller hoists may not have the height to allow safe clearance, for example, for transfers to high pieces of equipment or for use with particularly tall people 

Provision of slings

The Changing Places consortium recommends that venues should not provide slings. Signage and literature should clearly advise people that they should provide their own slings for health and safety reasons. Clear information should be provided, both within the facility and in advance on request, on the type of hoist provided in the facility and which slings are compatible. Please see our legal factsheet for more information.

Always get good advice!

Your planned toilet is unique. Good planning and advice will help you:

  • choose the best equipment
  • ensure that it meets your individual needs
  • ensure that what you choose works well in the appropriate layout

Contact our sponsors Aveso for an accurate quotation for your facility


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