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Managing a Commercial Lift

If you manage a commercial or public building with more than 1 floor, chances are you are managing a commercial lift too.

Read below to learn about some of the legislation and things you need to do to make sure you are managing a commercial lift correctly – for safety, time and efficiency >>>

Lift Regulations & Legislation

There is a mass of information and regulation about managing a commercial lift, but there are a few key bits to pay attention to with an existing lift in your building. Make sure that you record everything you do and keep hold of certificates and assessments so you can provide evidence that you are correctly managing a commercial lift.

HASAWA (Health & Safety at Work Act 1974)

  • Not specific to lifts
  • General health and safety requirements to protect employees and visitors to a premises
  • Equipment must be maintained and kept in safe working order (covered by legislation like LOLER)

LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998)

  • Requires a thorough examination by an accredited body every 6 months
  • Checks the safety and operation of the lift is suitable
  • Certification of LOLER required following inspection
  • Further inspections and checks will be recommended by the assessor

CE Marking (European Directive)

  • All equipment supplied in the EU should be CE marked at manufacture
  • Shows conformity with harmonised EU safety regulations

Building Regulations Part M

  • Defines requirements for building access
  • A lift must have a clear 1500mm turning circle or 900mm wide continuous thoroughfare at each landing
  • Sufficient landing lighting must be provided

If you are looking at installing a brand new lift in your building, it is important to know about the building regulations and rules around building design and this is different to just managing a commercial lift. Read more about this in our resources centre.

Please note that this applies to platform lifts. For other lifting equipment such as forklifts or lifting platforms please refer to PUWER and the Lift Regulations 1997 as well.

Your Responsibilities and Good Practice

Insurance is required for all commercial and public premises – make sure this includes a clause regarding your lift and doesn’t have any exemptions or similar.

Taking over a building? Check the lift if over 10 years old as may not comply any more.

Keeping up to date with regulations is actually the building managers responsibility. It can be a good move to make a note of any relevant regulations, and check each month if there is any news or changes.

Regular Quick Inspections

As you pass the lift on a daily or weekly basis, check things like:

  • Control panel, indicators and lighting all working
  • Test the alarm
  • Ensure all entrances/exits are clear at the landings
  • Check doors open and close, and there are no dangers

Alarms, lighting and 2 way communication must work (under the Lift Regulations and the Machinery Directive) or the lift cannot be used.

Training

Training is also important with regards to managing a lift. Generally there will be an emergency key with the lift and the responsible person will be trained at installation. Remember if anyone leaves the company or the responsible person will not always be present in the building then this training must be passed on to further members of staff.

Lift companies will generally be happy to come and do a second handover further down the line if required, but most lifts will come with a manual and a contact number for emergencies.

Lift Servicing and Maintenance

Maintenance of a lift is required to make sure that the lift is safe to use under the HASAWA (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). This applies to both customer/public lifts, and lifts used by employees (such as goods lifts or back of house lifts).

Having a planned schedule of maintenance by an official maintenance company is important to ensure that the internal workings of your lift are operating correctly and are not worn or becoming dangerous in any way. It also ensures no down-time or reduce the overall lifetime.

Gartec offer a range of lift servicing packages to suit almost any budget and requirement for platform lifts, and most manufacturers will offer a similar service for their lifts too. There are also many local lift servicing companies so no excuse not to keep on top of your lift maintenance!

Between official maintenance, it is advisable to make daily or weekly visual inspections of the lift as well.

Useful Resources

If you’re looking for a little more information, try some of these websites to find out more about managing a commercial lift:

LEIA – the Lift and Escalator Industry Association resources area

HSE on LOLER – Government website

HSE on PUWER – Government website

Building Regulations Part M

Lift Directive vs Machinery Directive – article about the differences in legislation for new lifts

 

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