MiniLift with bracket for 4-point harness
The client uses a MiniLift sit-to-stand aid for transfers but the sling is unsuitable. The Oxford Journey aid has a more suitable sling, but the aid itself is too large to maneuver inside the client’s home and its sling uses a 4-point fixing, and so could not be used on the MiniLift, which has a 2-point attachment
Originally, the suggestion was to modify the Oxford Journey sling to 2-point fixing but this was thought to be difficult to achieve. It was decided to add a bracket to the MiniLift so the Oxford Journey 4-point sling could be used.
The clamp was made from two pieces of 1.5” x ¼ thick mild steel bar 8 inches long. A 10mm hole was drilled through the centre and a M10 nut was welded to one piece. The other hole in the plate was left as clearance. A M10 hand wheel adjuster was fabricated along with a lock nut and spacer. Two aluminium sleeves the same diameter as the MiniLift arms were turned to act as alignment spacers for welding. These were later discarded when the clamp was finished.
Two more steel sleeves were turned to the exact diameter to fit over these aluminium sleeves. These were then tack welded in position on to the steel plates. Once the position of these was checked on the MiniLift, the sleeves were final welded and then carefully split in half along the length. The important point in the construction of these guide sleeves is that they provide enough grip but cannot distort the tubes if overtightened. Two right angle fixing points were fabricated and these were welded to the main lower clamp plate.
The two original fixing points at the end of the arms provided by MiniLift are just 6 mm coiled loops welded to the frame. It would have been possible to make the additional anchor points the same as these. However, for the ease of attachment of the sling, two carabiners rated at 25KN were provided to form the anchor points for the sling. It was considered by the engineer the rating of these are far in excess of the fixings provided by MiniLift.
All welding was carried out using TIG to ensure good penetration of the welded joint. The clamp bracket was then spray painted to match the existing MiniLift metallic painted finish. The clamp is assembled over the existing MiniLift arms and hand tightened to firmly clamp with no movement.
The arrangement was tested with the OT and agreed to be a successful addition to the MiniLift.
The use of the MiniLift requires the user to be weight bearing and so it is just assisting the user to raise themselves up; the user is not being lifted.
Bracket in place
The client’s carer can now provide assistance without compromising her own back.