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Frequently Asked Questions

Media Library - OTCS - Swing 1

 

What is a personnel suspension/anchor point?

A personnel suspension/anchor point is a fixing secured overhead in a permanent manner which is designed specifically for the purpose of suspending people. A personnel suspension point differs from a conventional suspension point used for lifting simple loads in that the design and certification criteria to which they must comply is significantly stricter. This is due to the higher risk associated with lifting/suspending people as opposed to a standard load.

 

In the case of a suspension point used for occupational therapy or sensory integration there are additional factors to be considered. During therapy sessions where a swing or sling is attached to the suspension point the forces of a dynamic load must be accommodated as the swing moves from side to side. This increases the stress loading on the suspension point, its fixings and the structure it is secured to. There are also forces to be accounted for as users jump on and off the swing. The sudden weight of even a small child jumping onto a swing subjects the suspension point to what is known as a “shock load”. A shock load will generate forces way in excess of the actual weight of the load. Shock loading must be factored into the design of a suspension point, its fixings and the structure itself to ensure its safe operation.

 

With the repetitive movement of occupational therapy swings, wear of the suspension point is ongoing. When designing a suspension point OTCS aim to have it as hard wearing as possible but also engineer the anchor system so that the point can be both easily inspected for wear and quickly replaced when excessively worn. The rate of wear depends on the frequency and intensity of use of the swing/ anchor point.

 

Do OTCS only get involved in new builds?

No. While a large portion of our work is based around designing and commissioning suspension points for new facilities, we also spend considerable time in existing occupational therapy units assessing inspecting and certifying suspension points. Often we will get involved in retrofitting compliant suspension point where the existing points were either not installed correctly, or not fit for purpose.

 

Will OTCS work with a private home owner?

Of course! We are encountering more and more home owners who want to equip there home with the tools and toys used in OT and rehabilitation specialists. We arrange the entire install of the swing and suspension system, leaving you confident that the install is correct and safe for the user.

 

Why use OTCS instead of installing a suspension point yourself?

A suspension point for lifting/ suspending people falls under very strict guidelines by both the HSA and the manufacturers of the point and accessories. The point, once installed must meet particular performance criteria regarding pull out forces, factor of safety, working angle, safe radius, marking and identification. There is also a detailed paper trail which must accompany the suspension point for the duration of its existence. This starts with the day it is designed but includes installation, commissioning, hand over, training, daily maintenance/ inspection and annual inspection. These processes must all be logged and available to hand at a minimum for annual inspection.

 

OTCS Specialise in managing this entire process and ensuring that all suspension points and documentation are in full compliance with current legislation and manufacturers standards.

By using OTCS to take care of the whole process, as an architect, builder, principal, occupational therapist or home owner you are guaranteed a complete, compliant and most importantly safe suspension point. As specialists in the field we offer a service where we assume responsibility for all aspects pertaining to personnel suspension points on a project and present the client with a turnkey solution.

 

Can OTCS supply swing accessories and sensory toys?

NO. We are focused specifically on the suspension point itself. We will ensure that the point is safely installed and suitable for use with whatever attachment you choose to fit.

 

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