Recent high-profile lift failure has cast a spotlight on building operators’ responsibility to ensure that when their lifts are not in full working order, there is no risk of passenger injury as a result. The cause of these issues is often due to operators neglecting the machinery, assuming that nothing is likely to go wrong. Of course, without proper maintenance, it can and it will.
A recent lift failure at a coffee shop in Solihull saw a worker fall 25ft down a lift shaft after the doors opened and she stepped into an empty space. She suffered a broken pelvis and leg, with a lengthy stay in hospital – all because a lift failure meant it did not arrive yet the doors opened regardless.
Such circumstances are rare, but the consequences can be catastrophic. When they do happen, naturally, the lift operator should be expected to shoulder the blame. That is why they must ensure that contingencies are in place for when a component fails, whilst taking action to reduce the probability of them failing at all.
For the latter, a planned preventative maintenance initiative should be sought – protecting lift users from potential harm, and businesses from liability. Not only does it mean lifts are always operational, it shares the responsibility with the service provider selected to maintain them. It is not just case of ethical responsibility, it is a legal obligation. As per Regulation 9 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1999 (LOLER), a complete examination should be undertaken at least twice a year. But that should be the minimum. Frequent checks throughout the year will keep lifts running safely with maximum performance.
Effectively, planned preventative maintenance works similarly to that of an insurance policy. For a manageable retainer, an expert lift engineer will provide regular and thorough checks on a building’s lifts and submit detailed results and guidance on any potential threats that might surface – be it faulty, damaged or worn parts, or a lack of vital fluids for effective operation.
Even when a lift failure occurs without harm, lifts are expensive pieces of equipment and failing to cover yourself can be damaging financially. You would insure your car; why wouldn’t you insure your lifts?
At Guideline, we appreciate that responsible lift management can be challenging but we want to help you share the load. A full lift inspection will be provided at the beginning of a maintenance contract, giving you an overview of what might fail and what can be done to resolve it. Then, our engineers will make routine visits to the site and perform all the necessary checks to keep your lifts online, all the time – and preventing risks to passengers.
For more details on our flexible lift maintenance partnership contracts, get in touch with Guideline.