When you are fortunate enough to own the building that houses your company, you must adhere to a myriad of safety regulations for the equipment in your facility including elevators. While elevator accidents are rare, the safety of the conveyance machines hinges upon regular inspections and tests conducted by licensed technicians. If you are a first-time owner of a commercial property, the following guide provides a basic overview of how to keep your elevator in compliance with federal, state and local laws.
Regular Maintenance Requirements
Generally, elevator maintenance and inspection requirements apply to passenger and freight equipment as well as man lifts, wheelchair lifts, dumbwaiters and other types of conveyances.
Basic maintenance tasks include:
- Conducting load tests
- Checking electrical wiring, circuits and control boxes
- Testing the emergency telephone
- Making minor adjustments
- Lubricating and cleaning components such as the motor, interlocks and bearings
- Checking door and floor-to-floor operation
During a load test, technicians from sites like http://www.capitalelevatorservice.com will fill the elevator with weights that meet the capacity of the conveyance and leave them in the elevator for a set amount of time.
As the owner of an elevator, you must maintain detailed maintenance logs for every single service call, repair or upgrade. The logs should include the date and description of the maintenance tasks including repairs, adjustments, tests and corrective actions taken to fix problems. It should also include name of the technician who performed the service call.
When it is time for your periodic inspection by state-authorized experts, you must present the maintenance log to inspectors.
Adhere to Inspection Requirements
Only licensed inspectors from approved state agencies can evaluate your elevator so you can obtain or renew an elevator permit. Once an inspector completes their evaluation, they will provide you with a report that you must file with your state. Some municipalities also require you to file elevator inspection reports.
If your elevator fails an inspection, you will be forced to shut the device down until repairs are made and you pass a follow-up inspection. The inspector will let you know how much time you have to schedule repairs before you face the possibility of a fine and a get reported for a violation.
In addition, if you make any upgrades to your elevator, you must have it inspected before you resume passenger or freight operation.
Find a Licensed Elevator Technician and Stay in Compliance with Laws
You should only hire certified elevator technicians to perform work on your equipment. Depending on where you live, your state or city may have licensing requirements for technicians. If you jurisdiction does not have these requirements, make sure that the technician you hire is certified by the National Association of Elevator Contractors.
If you want to make it easier to obtain regular maintenance checkups and repairs, you should enter into a service agreement with an elevator service firm. Certified technicians from the firm can help you prepare for mandatory inspections and keep you up to date on any changes in commercial elevator codes.
Elevator regulations are not static. Municipalities and states may issue updates to existing codes every few years. Some states have added requirements that require businesses to make sure elevators are handicap accessible. It is your responsibility to make sure your elevators adhere to new standards for the safety of elevator passengers and to avoid hefty fines.
Even though elevator accidents are uncommon, they are dangerous devices. In some cases, an elevator may be among the most expensive and heaviest pieces of equipment in a commercial building. Consequently, elevator maintenance costs should be included in your company's operating budget so you never have to worry about keeping the conveyance in excellent working condition.