The Boston Globe recently reported that in 2012 more than one third of the registered elevators in Massachusetts (over 14,000 in all) had expired inspection certificates. Many of those certifications were expired for more than four years. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon- a quick internet search of “lapsed elevator inspections” brings up dozens of news stories from cities all over the country highlighting overworked and understaffed agencies that oversee elevator and escalator inspections.
In the United States, all elevators are subject to building codes and must be inspected on a regular basis by city or state officials. It is up to business owners to notify the appropriate agency to schedule the inspections. After inspections are complete, the elevator’s passing grade is noted in a certificate which is either displayed in the elevator or kept on file. Many elevators, however, operate for months- sometimes years- after inspections expire.
OSHA has standards regarding elevator and escalator inspections, specifically 1917.116(e), which states:
“Elevators and escalators shall be thoroughly inspected at intervals not exceeding one year. Additional monthly inspections for satisfactory operation shall be conducted by designated persons. Records of the results of the latest annual elevator inspections shall be posted in elevators. Records of annual escalator inspections shall be posted in the vicinity of the escalator or be available at the terminal.”
Even with such standards in place (and even more stringent efforts by some local and state authorities), thousands of elevators can be found in operation that are well past their due-dates for inspection. Failure to keep elevator certification current may be indicative poor elevator maintenance. Failure to maintain elevators can lead to issues, including mis-leveling, defective doors, speed and braking issues, shock and electrocution, and many other problems.
CED Technologies has several experts who have education and training relating to OSHA standards and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ inspection procedures for elevators, escalators and moving walks.
Featured Engineer: Kurtis G. Whitling, P.E., CFEI, CVFI
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