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Changing Places Equipment & Weight Capacity

Businesses must pay close attention to the project planning of Changing Places facilities to ensure the safety of users, carers, and staff, as well as meeting the required regulations. In this article, we discuss the key equipment that you can expect to find in a Changing Places facility, as well as the weight capacities required to ensure the safety of all users.

Changing Places Equipment and Weight Capacity

The purpose of a Changing Places toilet is to provide accessible bathrooms and changing facilities to those with profound and multiple disabilities. Therefore, specific equipment is required in a Changing Places toilet that wouldn’t be installed in a standard disabled access toilet.

Read our guide to Changing Places equipment – >

Some of this equipment requires careful consideration to ensure the weight capacity can cater for a variety of users. The ancillary equipment in a Changing Places facility should be able to safely accommodate both the equipment and the user’s weight.

 

Changing Places Ceiling Hoist

Ceiling hoists are overhead moving and handling pieces of equipment, designed to transfer a person from one place to another. According to BS:8300, hoist lifting capacity should be 200kg to meet the minimum safe working load needs in a Changing Places facility.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) apply, so it is your responsibility to ensure that the hoist is in good condition, safe to use, and has a safe working weight limit. This can be managed through routine LOLER testing, which is legally required every six-month.

Learn more about Changing Places maintenance ->

When installing a ceiling hoist into a Changing Places facility, it’s important to consider where it is fixed and to ensure there are no restrictions.

 

What To Do If the Ceiling Doesn’t Support a Hoist

Sometimes in existing buildings, the ceiling cannot support a ceiling track hoist system. If this is the case, there are a couple of solutions available:

Wall Brackets

Fixed below the ceiling onto solid load-bearing walls to take the weight of the load.

Wall Posts

A post travelling down the wall, from floor to ceiling, enabling the load weight to be directed down the post onto the floor as opposed to being solely held by the ceiling.

Want to learn more about Changing Places? Why not attend one of our seminars?
Inside the Warwick Castle Changing Places toilet

Changing Places Adult Changing Bench

People with profound disabilities require a hygienic and safe station for themselves and their carers. Installing an adult-sized changing bench is a key requirement for any Changing Places facility, with a safe working load of 200kg.

There are two main options when it comes to installing a changing bench in your Changing Places toilet, but a wall-mounted height-adjustable bench is specified as an essential piece of equipment within the Changing Places Practical Guide.

Wall Mounted, Height Adjustable (Recommended)

A wall-mounted changing table often has a fold-away mechanism. A sufficient structure within the wall is required to withhold the imposed load (additional timber pattressing is often installed when existing walls aren’t strong enough).

Mobile Option

When a suitable wall structure isn’t available, another option is a mobile changing bench. Whilst a mobile bench/trolley can often be preferred by carers, this is not what the Changing Places Consortium recommend. (There is also an increased chance of a mobile bench/trolley being stolen).

Fixed Height Bench

Some organisations opt for a fixed height bench with a fold-away mechanism. Although this has the same weight capacities, this option isn’t recommended due to the height restraints it may cause for users and carers.

Whilst not essential, a shower is a recommended piece of equipment in all Changing Places facilities. Both mobile and wall-mounted benches can be used as washing areas for users, and it is advised that drainage and internal gullies are located close to bench areas.

 

Changing Places Grab Rails

Changing Places need grab rails to support those users who can stand but need additional support.

Fixed Support Rails

Vertical fixed rails appear on either side of the toilet and basin. Horizontal grab rails are fixed to outward opening doors to make them easier to close. The weight of the imposed load and the wall structure should be considered when fixing support rails (again, pattressing or re-enforcing walls where required).

Hinged Support Rails

Hinged support rails work on a cantilever principle, provided on both sides of the toilet. Some hinged rails have an additional hinged leg. This reduces the load put on the wall by supporting it down to the floor. As with fixed, the wall’s structure and the weight of the load should be considered when installing hinged support rails.

 

RISE

At RISE, our modular Changing Places provide a simple solution to ensure that all regulations and requirements are adhered to, including the weight capacities of fixtures and specialist equipment. We also have a wealth of experience delivering complex adaptation works and can advise on how to best reconfigure an existing space if you have a project in mind.

Whilst you’re here, why not book an online Changing Places consultation…?
Have you installed a Changing Places facility and are now ready to open it to the public? Be sure to register it first! This blog breaks down the importance of registering your Changing Places toilet.
Changing Places are becoming more and more prominent throughout the UK, thanks to the work of the Changing Places Consortium and providers such as RISE. This blog aims to uncover the latest Changing Places toilets stats and facts.

Call 07729 224 738 or email hello@riseadapt.co.uk
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To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.

Call: 07729 224 738
email: hello@riseadapt.co.uk
08:00-18:00, Mon-Fri

To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.

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