Security & tenant safety

How to manage and maintain lift safety

LIFTEX 2019 show director Oliver Greening explains how to ensure that passenger lifts remain compliant to safety regulations


everal regulations place legal requirements on building owners to ensure that all liſts and escalators are maintained to a safe standard. In addition, if passengers become trapped, building owners have a responsibility to

free them and ensure their safety. Tese requirements can be a minefield, but it is essential to make sure your equipment is working and that tenants can exit a building safely.

MAINTAIN YOUR EQUIPMENT REGULARLY By conducting regular maintenance checks you can ensure that your equipment is working efficiently, and save money on costly repairs further down the line.

FIND A MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR A good contractor will offer advice and keep you well informed. Many owners and managers choose to also employ consultants. However, most consultants don’t carry out maintenance themselves; therefore using a specialist maintenance company will help solve issues, and save money in the long-term.

AGREE A MAINTENANCE CONTRACT A good agreement ideally spans three to five years, and allows the contractor to set up an effective maintenance programme. Te reason being that shorter periods can result in reactive maintenance which is not ideal for the longevity of the liſt. A good programme of maintenance will protect the value of the assets and maximise their lifespan – reducing future health and safety problems.

CONDUCT A ‘THOROUGH EXAMINATION’ A ‘thorough examination’ of passenger liſts should be conducted every six months. It’s important to note that this is not the same as general maintenance, and is in fact a check of the safety of the equipment. However, reports can be used to indicate the effectiveness of such maintenance. Liſts used as work equipment must be thoroughly examined – usually every

six months for passenger carrying liſts – under Te Liſting Operations and Liſting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) by an independent ‘competent person’. Te reports of a thorough examination should be shared with the maintenance contractor who would be asked to carry out any repairs recommended in the report. As part of the thorough examination, the competent person oſten asks for supplementary tests to be carried out to check safety. Tese are typically conducted by the maintenance contractor, who has the specialist knowledge needed to do this.

MAKE SIMPLE IMPROVEMENTS Personal injury claims can cause a major headache for owners and managers, and many of these relate to basic issues such as from impact of the doors or with the levelling of the liſt car. By regularly maintaining the liſt, it will minimise the risk and keep levelling consistent. Another simple improvement is fitting full height light curtains to re-open the doors before they hit passengers. Always ask your maintenance company to check the closing force and impact from the doors to make sure they are within the accepted limits.

SURVEY EQUIPMENT AND MAKE SIMPLE CHECKS Standards are available which provide a recognised format for surveying the safety levels of liſt and escalator equipment. Tese also have prioritisation of areas for improvement. Other standards will help assess liſts for improvements in accessibility or vandal resistance. Ask your maintenance contractor to carry out these surveys. It is also important to check on the basics: does the liſt stop level at each floor?

Does the alarm system work? Tese are simple and straightforward checks to ensure the equipment runs safely.

READ THE BS CODES OF PRACTICE FOR SAFE WORKING British Standard documents BS 7255 (safe working on liſts), BS 7801 (safe working on escalators and moving walks) and BS 9102 (safe working on liſting platforms) give guidance for owners as well as people working on the equipment.

TRAPPED PASSENGERS Ideally if any passengers are trapped, the maintenance contractor should attend to release them. In some circumstances, for example in gearless liſts or machine room-less installations, it is recommended that only a liſt engineer help free trapped passengers. Untrained individuals could do more damage and cause further accidents.

FIT A CONNECTED ALARM Since 1999, alarm communication systems have been connected to all new liſts to allow passengers to call for help. It is essential to make sure the connection to the rescue service is maintained. If the alarm is out of order from disconnection, then you should consider removing the liſt from service, or providing a temporary alarm or communication system.

MAKE FIRE ESCAPE PROVISIONS Under fire safety regulations the ‘responsible person’ for the building must carry out a fire risk assessment, make an emergency plan, and undertake other fire safety duties related to these. Te responsible person must provide and maintain sufficient fire precautions so that people can live or work in safety, and escape safely in the event of a fire. Evacuation liſts, which are protected from fire by the building design, have special features to allow them to be used for the evacua- tion of people unable to use stairs. Tey have been included in British Standards for many years.

Oliver Greening is show director for LIFTEX 2019 | HMM September 2018 | 47

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