Test fit of safety rails
The young client had spinal surgery and now needs intensive physiotherapy for 2 years. To supplement his physiotherapy his parents have purchased a variety of equipment to help him exercise at home. The treadmill is adult-size and they had a number of safety concerns. The side rails were at his head height forcing him to reach up to use them making his position uncomfortable and unstable; his head was at the same height as the control panel which meant that if he tripped he could hurt himself; the lack of any barrier could allow him to step onto the stationary front edge of the treadmill body and cause him to trip. In addition during the extended period of physiotherapy he will grow in height so the installation needed to be height adjustable. (one photo shows the unpainted frame for clarity and one photo shows the finished, painted, frame in use
Working with the young client, his OT and his mother the correct height and location of the various safety rails were established. A frame was made providing both side bars to hold and maintain position and a front cross bar that would stop him hitting himself or tripping. Softwood was chosen to allow smooth profiling for comfort and a more forgiving material in the event that he did trip. A rigid structure was designed to ensure that the frame could not give way under vertical or sideways pressure. The new frame was bolted to the treadmill uprights using M8 bolts with 3D printed knobs to allow manual tightening or release. The multiple possible height positions permit the frame to be raised to allow for future growth.
Home exercise will allow the young client to supplement his physiotherapy and hopefully speed his recovery. The treadmill, as purchased, was unsuitable for this purpose. It is now safe from him to use.