ENSURING SAFE LIFT INSTALLATIONS
Newly built and installed lifts will already have undergone extensive safety checks, however it is the responsibility of the building proprietor to keep on top of these checks and to ensure proper practise is followed.
Older lifts are likely to need more attention and should be thoroughly assessed to make sure they meet modern day regulations. Did you know that more than 40% of lifts are between 20 and 40 years old? When you think of how much technology and the expectation of safety levels has changed in this time, you begin to realise the importance of keeping a close eye on things.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY CHECKS
The first step to take is to ask your lift maintenance company to conduct an extensive risk assessment of your lift installation, as is called for in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. They will also advise you on any safety matters, which you should be aware of. Once you know what the risks are, managing and controlling them will help to prevent unnecessary injury and damage.
Common sense, plays a significant role in keeping any area safe, lifts included. Seemingly small details, such as having a properly fitted apron on the car sill, can have a big impact in an emergency. The event of fire should be considered a priority, in all aspects of health and safety, especially where lifts are concerned.
Though the official safety checks and tests should always be carried out by a competent person, any lift owner can take the initiative to become familiar with what is included in a thorough examination.
Basic things to look out for include: the adequacy of the alarm device and the instructions on how to use it, as well as the emergency operation system. Check also, for the presence of harmful materials and anything that presents a potential slip or trip hazard. Landing and ‘lift car’ doors, as well as their locks, should be deemed safe and working properly, along with all electrical systems and components.
It is not just the lift car, or platform, that should be thoroughly investigated, but also the well and, if applicable, the operation room. In the event of an emergency, or any maintenance work needing to be done, the entire lift area should be safe for people to enter. With this in mind, it should be acknowledged that hand-held or temporary lighting is no longer considered sufficient, when working within an enclosed lift well.
It is also worth looking into the level of protection your lift has against vandalism, as this can cause unsightly damage resulting in accidents and injury.
Safety checks not only protect people using the lift, but also the lift itself. Looking after the equipment will help to prolong its life span and keep repair costs to a minimum. Any money spent on maintaining and improving safety should be seen as sound investment. Here at Gartec we ensure all staff members are fully up to date with their building regulations and training using LOLER as company standard.