Wheelchair safety checklist

Updated April 17, 2017

It is vitally important that you keep your wheelchair well maintained and in good repair, inspecting it regularly to ensure that there are no damaged or malfunctioning parts. If you do use a wheelchair that is in disrepair, you run the risk of injury. Using a simple checklist can ensure your wheelchair is working properly.

Wheel Locks and Tires

Make sure that the wheel locks engage the tires of your wheelchair properly, so that when you put on your brakes you are getting the most friction possible to slow you to a smooth stop. Make sure that your tires are in good condition and at the proper pressure. Check your manual or read the stamp on the tire to figure out the recommended tire pressure.


Make sure that your wheels are in good condition, not bent or warped. Ensure that they are running freely, so you do not run the risk of suddenly halting or swerving as a wheel struggles to turn. If you have a wheelchair with pop-off wheels, make sure they lock securely in place on the chair.

Handgrips and Handrails

Check your handgrips to ensure they are firmly attached to your chair. You may be able to remove the arms of your wheelchair, in which case you should check that they can be taken off and reinstalled easily. Check your handrails to make sure that they are firmly attached to your wheels, and that they are smooth and free from any rough areas.

General Condition

Look over your wheelchair to make sure that it is in a good condition: upholstery is not worn or torn, seat belts are present and functioning, and the wheelchair is clean. Check the frame of your chair for any signs of wear, rust or loose connections, and make sure that your chair folds properly.

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About the Author

Ben Wakeling graduated from Coventry University in 2009 with an upper second class honours B.Sc. degree in construction management. Wakeling is also a freelance writer, and works for a number of businesses, such as Demand Studios, Suite 101 and Academic Knowledge.