Safety at Every Level – A New Standard for Elevators

Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky - 123RF

Elevators and escalators are potential sources of serious injuries and deaths to the general public and workers installing, repairing, and maintaining them.

Workers are also at risk when cleaning elevator shafts, conducting emergency evacuations of stalled elevators, or performing construction work near open shafts.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), has published its first standard for lifts (elevators) which will harmonize the millions in operation worldwide, “enabling safety to improve and the technology to grow.”

According to ISO, the national or regional rules and regulations that apply to them are reflected in different standards, making international trade a problem.

ISO 8100 Lifts for the transport of persons and goods – Part 1: Passenger and goods passenger lifts and Part 2: Design rules, calculations, examinations and tests of lift components overcome this, by providing internationally agreed requirements that has worldwide approval for use in all economic areas and is compliant with all local legislation.

Dr. Gero Gschwendtner, chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standards said the harmonization of the existing standards removes the barrier to international trade and ensures the same safety level for all our stakeholders all over the world.

Gschwendtner said, “This will not only reduce administration for many businesses in the field but will also provide a platform for safety, innovation and new technologies to grow.”

According to OSHA Standard 1917.116 (e), elevators and escalators shall be thoroughly inspected at intervals not exceeding one year. Additional monthly inspections for satisfactory operation shall be conducted by designated persons.

Records of the results of the latest annual elevator inspections shall be posted in elevators. Records of annual escalator inspections shall be posted in the vicinity of the escalator or be available at the terminal.

According to a report from The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), while the number of total elevator-related deaths among construction and maintenance workers is relatively small when compared to total construction fatalities, the rate of such deaths doubled from 2003 to 2016, from 14 to 28, with a peak of 37 in 2015,

However, falls are the cause of most elevator-related fatalities, just like in the construction industry at large. More than 53% of elevator-related deaths were from falls, and of those incidents, almost 48% were from heights of more than 30 feet. 

ISO 8100-1 and -2 were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 178Lifts, escalators and moving walks, the secretariat of which is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France.