Elevator manufacturers and operators must ensure that elevator systems are designed to transport people, loads, or equipment safely and reliably, and that they are properly maintained.  Furthermore, they should ensure compliance with all standard regulations. This is because most people don’t usually think about whether an elevator in a building is unsafe, or whether a working platform elevated above the ground is dangerous, or if lifting equipment used for industrial purposes is functioning correctly. They assume that their living and working spaces are safe and believe that the risk of accidents is low.

Therefore, the safety of elevators present in any building is highly important.  This is necessary to ensure the well-being of the occupants and to comply with legal requirements. Lift inspection involves a detailed visual and operational check of each elevator component,  such as Greenweight elevator counterweight,  elevator car and shaft,  guide rails,  with the aim of ensuring that each elevator part is fully functional and in good condition. To learn more about the inspection of equipment, such as elevators, boom lifts, aerial lifts, and lifting equipment, you can continue reading our article.

What is Lift Inspection?

The fast-paced modern world and the high-rise buildings have made elevators an essential part of our lives.  Consequently, just like any mechanical system, elevators need to undergo regular checks and maintenance to operate safely and effectively. Elevator inspections are crucial for the safety of both users and those who work with these complex machines. The primary purpose of these inspections is to identify potential risks, ensure compliance with safety regulations, and maintain uninterrupted functionality.

Regular elevator inspections help identify and resolve potential mechanical and electrical issues before they escalate into major problems or even life-threatening risks.  These inspections also offer an opportunity to verify the functionality of safety-related components such as emergency brakes, safety switches, counterweights, and hoist ropes. Ultimately, the main goal of routine inspections is to prevent accidents, ensure the smooth operation of elevators, and extend their service life.

Aerial Lift and Boom Lift Inspections

When conducting an aerial lift and boom lift inspection, meeting safety inspection standards is important not only to prevent accidents but also to comply with legal requirements.  Aerial lifts, which can be used for a wide range of tasks, undergo inspections with visual examination taking the forefront. This involves visually inspecting the lift, platform, boom, controls, and potential wear and tear.  Subsequently, the inspection of structural components follows.  This is where observations are made to detect structural issues such as cracks, rust,  deformities, and other integrity-related concerns.

Creating a comprehensive checklist is an effective method to conduct a thorough aerial lift inspection.  This list should include key components of both the vehicle and the lift. When inspecting vehicle components, make sure to check fluid levels such as oil, hydraulic fluid, fuel,  and coolant,  look for potential leaks,  inspect wheels, assess steering and brake systems.

For the lift inspection, examine operating and emergency controls, air, hydraulic,  pneumatic,  fuel,  electrical systems,  and other insulating components.  If you plan to use the aerial lift outdoors, checking insulation components becomes particularly important.  Confirm the presence of mechanical fasteners and locking pins, and also check the functionality of additional equipment like outriggers or stabilizers.

One of the leading causes of accidents on construction sites is related to aerial lifts.  Therefore, regularly inspecting the aerial lift in its entirety is of utmost importance.

Importance of Lift Inspection

Lift inspections have become indispensable for the safety and efficiency of transportation devices that have become prevalent in multi-story commercial and residential buildings. In addition to providing compliant operations according to regulatory requirements, these inspections also mitigate potential hazards to passenger safety.

Regularly conducted inspections enable the detection of minor issues before they escalate into significant problems or risky situations.  Consequently, they contribute to the secure and reliable operation of elevators.  By prioritizing elevator inspections, we can enhance the safety of journeys,  prevent operational disruptions,  reduce operating costs,  avoid potential hazards,  and extend the lifespan of the elevator.

In essence, elevator accidents, which cause approximately 10,000 injuries annually, can be prevented with proper monitoring and maintenance practices. Lift inspections must be an integral part of maintenance programs.  It is widely acknowledged that nearly every elevator requires inspection, testing, and maintenance, yet many are unaware of the benefits this can yield. Lift inspections not only elevate safety and efficiency but can also decrease overall costs.  Furthermore, they enhance comfort and aid in compliance with legal requirements.

Lift Safety Standards and Regulations in the UK

In the UK, the safety standards and regulations for elevators are primarily determined by the 2016 Lifts Regulations, which incorporate the implementation of the EU Lifts Directive (2014/33/EU).  These regulations provide a fundamental framework to ensure the safety, installation, maintenance,  and usage of elevators.  To comply with legal requirements and ensure proper elevator operation, it is essential to have a thorough understanding and implementation of these safety standards.  The safe and secure operation of elevators in the UK is monitored by regulatory bodies such as The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which mandate compliance with relevant regulations.

Some key aspects of elevator safety standards and regulations in the UK can be listed as follows:

  • Elevator Installation: Elevator installations in the UK must be carried out in accordance with the fundamental health and safety requirements established by the 2016 Lifts Regulations. The installation process should involve experts who possess a comprehensive understanding of elevator safety standards and regulations.
  • Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Ensuring proper elevator maintenance and subjecting them to regular inspections by competent engineers are responsibilities of elevator owners and operators. The frequency of inspections may vary depending on factors such as the type of elevator, its age, intended usage, and manufacturer recommendations.
  • Elevator Testing and Certification: Elevators undergo thorough testing and examinations by expert engineers during and after installation. They are required to obtain a “Declaration of Conformity” that demonstrates their compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations.
  • Safety Features: Elevators in the UK must be equipped with various safety features including emergency alarms, speed limiters, door sensors, and door locking mechanisms. Having these features is crucial in ensuring passenger safety in case of emergencies or malfunctions.
  • Accessibility: The Equality Act of 2010 in the UK mandates that elevators should be accessible to everyone, particularly individuals with disabilities. Elevators must be designed and operated to have features like easy access to elevator controls, sufficient cabin space for wheelchair users, and the absence of obstacles that hinder access to the elevator cabin.

Components Covered in Lift Inspections

In safety inspections, various elevator components are carefully and meticulously examined.  Among the mechanically and electrically inspected components are emergency systems,  doors,  elevator shaft and cabin,  control panels, elevator rails,  buffers, drive units, and brake mechanisms,  among other systems and structures.  Through detailed examination of these components, potential risks,  malfunctions,  or non-compliance with safety standards can be identified.

Conducting Lift Safety Inspections

The first prerequisite for conducting an effective safety inspection is to have inspectors who are experts in the field, possess the necessary knowledge,  and hold certifications.  Before the inspection,  the elevator should be taken out of service,  power should be disconnected,  and the inspector should be provided with safe access to the elevator.  Throughout the inspection process,  elevator components are systematically assessed,  all safety features and emergency systems are tested,  the proper functioning of control devices is verified,  and the collected data is recorded in detail.

Following the inspection,  the inspector must compose a detailed report,  outlining the identified issues,  the necessary actions for their resolution,  and their professional opinions.

Frequency of Lift Inspections

Safety inspections for elevators are categorized into three main types: Periodic inspections, routine maintenance, and detailed examinations. The frequency of these inspections can vary depending on factors such as elevator usage, operation, age, and legal requirements.

Performing inspections and maintenance at appropriate intervals is crucial to identifying potential safety issues and addressing them before they escalate into larger problems.  It also involves replacing worn-out, deteriorated, and end-of-life components.  Regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance prevent major malfunctions that can disrupt operation and increase costs, enhance performance, and overall elevator safety.

Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin

Okan Ergin has been working as the General Coordinator at Ergin Makina since 2005.