As lift designers, fully conversant with historic and current standards, regulations and specifications – we can ensure compliance for all lift installations. Our experience includes lifts to:
- European and British Standards: As example to the latest 2014 standards BS EN81-20 and BS EN81-50 for new lifts, BS EN81-21 for replacement of existing lifts in existing buildings, BS7255 for safety, etc. covering the full and extensive of range of British, European and International lift standards
- Lift & Escalator Industry Association Guidance Notes and Recommendations: Such as GN28 for replacement of lifts where the original installer has gone out of business, GN05 guidance on the possible hazards created by interfacing new and old lift components or Safety Information sheet 27 regarding safe release of trapped passengers and related training
- Health Technical Memoranda: The lift standard HTM 08-02 and the electrical standard for undertaking works on hospital sites HTM 06-01
- Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) Technical Guides: Including Lift Machine Room Guarding Requirements and Guidelines on the Supplementary Tests of In-service Lifts
- Building Regulations: For example compliance with Part M on Access to and Use OF Buildings which impacts on the design of lifts for mobility and sensory impaired users and Part P regarding Electrical Safety
Once you have a lift in-service then your responsibilities as the owner / operator come in to force and you have statutory test and inspection duties which are set out in the Lifting Operations and Lift Equipment Regulations (commonly known as LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (commonly known as PUWER). You can get advice on your duties from the HSE and the company which insures your lift(s).
We are often asked by customers less aware of the regulatory requirements, whether we can undertake the thorough examinations required by the regulations. The HSE guidance on this matter recommends that the company who maintain your lift are independent of those who inspect the lift for statutory compliance.
If you have a mobility access lift or related equipment such as a ceiling hoist, then the Regulations may also apply to you and you should seek advice of your lift insurers and/or the HSE. If you own the lift but provide it to a third party to use, e.g. in a hospital, public building, care home or sheltered housing scheme then the regulation checks almost certainly apply to your lift, whereas if you are a domestic lift owner using the lift for your own or a family member’s mobility they may not as advised by the HSE in relation to health and social care lifts.
Building owners have a statutory duty to have a register of any asbestos within their property, however in our experience asbestos surveyors seldom enter lift shafts or lift motor rooms and control panels where we often find asbestos. If a lift is to be removed and replaced, then it is most likely that a full Asbestos Refurbishment & Demolition Survey will be required before the works can commence. We can arrange for asbestos surveys to be done with a lift engineer in attendance – this offers both cost and time certainty before lift replacement works commence. Discovering there is asbestos present can be disruptive and costly once our works commence.
When designing lifts or recommending repair or modernisation – it is important that owners consider value before price. As an example, it is easy to buy a low cost closed protocol controller and then discover that parts for diagnostic tools to investigate faults and the ability to re-programme – are a very expensive investment, when it comes to future maintenance and repairs.
You may also want to think about industry guidance on economic life span. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers’ publication “Part M: Maintenance Engineering and Management” gives in its section on economic life factors these indicative life expectancy factors:
- Electric traction lift: 20 years
- Hydraulic lifts: 15 years
- Electric packaged lifts MRL (Machine Room Less) lifts: 15 years
We know that many electric traction lifts last longer than 20 years with good maintenance and replacement of key components from around 15 years onwards. It is not uncommon for us to encounter electric traction lifts of 40 to 50 years of age in our service contracts.
Similarly, in many low rise buildings accessibility for all persons dictates the installation of a lift and over a short travel distance of a few floors or less the larger electric traction lifts may be an over specification of the need, so here we are more inclined to recommend that you use an hydraulic or MRL lift, or perhaps a platform lift
Lift & Engineering Services are also acutely aware of the need to specify parts of an adequate robustness and quality which is suitable for the environment and usage. Consider the difference between a 16-floor hospital lift operating all day, every day of the year – making around 10,000 journeys a month and a lift in a sheltered housing scheme, used mainly in the mornings and evenings, making perhaps 1,000 journeys a month. As experienced and professional operators, we would not specify the same door operating gear to reduce the initial capital costs of these 2 lift installations as long term this would not represent good value.
Robust and resilient lifts fit for use in their individual circumstances are a vital aspect of delivering value to our customers.