Elevator safety should always be a major concern when considering the daily usage and management of lifts in any type of building, including residential and commercial properties. The summer is a very difficult time to oversee the running of elevator systems – this is due to the number of power outages that may stall out lifts with people inside. So as the season of brownouts gets closer, it is imperative that elevator inspections go off without a hitch.
However, just as I wrote a few weeks ago about the importance of thorough elevator inspections by authorized and certified individuals, a story comes out of New York that is disheartening and a bit frightening. According to the NY Daily News, city inspectors are beginning to admit that the inspection system is failing and that many reports are faked:
“Nearly three years after a 5-year-old died trying to escape a stalled housing project elevator, whistle-blowing city inspectors say they’re being told to fake reports and take safety shortcuts. The city Housing Authority vowed to get on top of elevator safety after Jacob Neuman fell 10 stories to his death in August 2008 trying to squeeze out of a stuck lift at a Brooklyn project. Years later, six inspectors have come forward to say the system remains unsafe because bosses pressure them to close inspections without doing a thorough job.”
The stress being put on inspectors has caused them to blow the whistle on a system that is obviously run by bureaucratic ends and not on the safety that is so crucial to elevator operation. The article continues on, saying that many inspectors are not comfortable with the situation, which puts them in a precarious situation:
“The safety issues have consequences. Officials say a malfunctioning zone lock, which prevents cab doors from opening in stalled elevators, triggered Jacob’s death. That tragedy prompted a rash of probes, including one by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that found a “culture of neglect” in NYCHA elevator inspection and maintenance.”
If you have a commercial elevator that you oversee, make sure that the inspections are complete by informing yourself about the mechanisms and rules of elevator operation. This is the best way to ensure that your elevator users are as safe as can be.