Elevator Safety – A Review Published  

 Elevator World India | 4th Quarter 2017


I strongly believe elevator systems are the safest vertical transportation systems. No one should doubt it – least of all elevator industry people. But, the increasing number of elevator accidents threatens this belief and demands introspection among industry people, as well as a fresh look at elevator safety.

Studies reveal most elevator-accident deaths (p. 62) result froma passenger or technician falling into an elevator pit. Some deaths occur while carrying out rescue operations. The freefall of an elevator is also a serious accident and creates panic among users. There are also incidents where a passenger tries to exit the elevator, and it suddenly starts moving, resulting in the passenger being crushed. Does all this mean the existing elevator safety provisions are not enough?

A detailed study of these accidental deaths reveals it is the technician or passenger who goes against the safety provisions and puts his/her life at risk. If the gate-lock and safety-edge systems are in their places, and passengers follow required user norms and rescue procedures, there will be no instances of a person falling into an elevator shaft or getting seriously hurt during door-closing or rescue operations.

All of these study results lead us to conclude it is a lack of awareness and/or training among technicians and users that result(s) in accidents and loss of life. This needs to be studied and addressed by the elevator industry and government authority governing the industry. The Maharashtra Lift Inspector department has recently taken several steps in this direction, like making it mandatory to have overload and auto-rescue devices for all elevators. But, this will not be enough to ensure total safety. The situation demands more concrete steps, in terms of education and training of users and technicians.

There are more than 100,000 elevators installed in Maharashtra alone, and the Indian elevator population totals (by rough estimate) nearly 400,000 units, with an increase of 35,000 to 40,000 units every year. The existing elevator population and a growing number of new installations demand trained installation technicians, service technicians and elevator operators. The employment and presence of them will help reduce the possibility of accidents. If we go beyond this and provide graduate/postgraduate higher education in vertical transportation, we canplay a greater role in the development of the elevator industry at the national and international levels. Providing elevator technical skills and knowledge will provide good support to the elevator industry, in particular, and the national economy, in general, besides contributing to a reduction in elevator accidents.

Through this platform, I request the Indian Ministry of Human Resources, in consultation with the Indian elevator industry, study the elevator engineering requirement and incorporate required courses into the curriculum of vocational training institutes, industrial training institutes and engineering institutes. Continuous knowledge and training on elevator operations up to graduation can make our elevator travel safer and reconfirm my belief that the elevator system is the safest vertical-transportation system.

Rajnikant Lad is the founder of the Elevator Safety Awareness Forum and Elevator Auditor.com

Written by : Rajnikant Lad

Founder Elevator Auditor | www.elevatorauditor.com

Watch Mr Lad and business leaders around the world talking about Elevator Safety and market trends on his our YouTube Channel : YouTube.

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