Standards Australia has revised requirements for powered wheelchairs and mobile scooters.

The revision to the AS/NZS 3695.2:3013 Wheelchairs part 2: Requirements and test methods, includes new safety aspects. Among them are testing  for the capability of the wheelchair to climb a specified maximum safe slope as well as being able to negotiate various degrees of ground unevenness.

“This standard is about advancing the safety and protection of wheelchair users,” said Standards Australia CEO, Dr Bronwyn Evans.

As well as electrically powered wheelchairs and scooters, the standard covers manual wheelchairs with add-on power kits that do not exceed 15km/h and only carry one person.

Dr Evans said requirements such as fatigue tests for parking brakes, at least one emergency stop device being fitted and clear warning signs for tyre pressure and brake usage, are intended to meet minimum safety, reliability and protection expectations for wheelchair users.

“The standard will also bring greater clarity to manufacturers in regards to testing methods for wheelchairs, based on internationally agreed standards. It introduces classifications similar to those in Europe, such as suitability for indoor or outdoor use, and sets the requirement for risk analysis.”

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