Tail lift safety

Ambulance side shot

Over the past couple of months there has been an increase in incidents of trolleys falling off the tail lifts on ambulances when it is in the raised position, which has caused various musculoskeletal injuries to the staff involved, and in one case, a fractured arm.

To try and prevent these types of injuries, please make sure that the tail lift standard operating procedure is followed at all times. You can download a copy of the procedure from East24.

Please also give consideration to the following:

  • the tail lift should be horizontal and not level with the pavement or road, especially when on a slope
  • the trolley should be under control at all times when loading and unloading from the vehicle
  • when operating the tail lift with the trolley on, make sure that at least one brake is applied; two or more brakes may be necessary according to your dynamic risk assessment, for instance with a heavier patient or when parked on an incline
  • the operator should look at the control panel prior to operating the tail lift so that mistakes are not made, e.g. tilting the tail lift rather than lowering it. This has happened on a number of occasions.

Published 8th December 2014 

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