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Hawaii Facing Elevator Safety Problems

Every state has thousands of elevators that need to be properly maintained to function safely and correctly for those who use them. Whether these are located in office buildings, homes, apartments or in other areas, many disabled citizens need elevators to move freely, enabling them to get to areas they may not be able to get to otherwise. When these elevators go out of service or don’t function properly, it can be very problematic, yet it continues to be a topic of much discussion in the elevator community.

We have discussed many states that have had problems keeping elevator checks up to date and when it comes to Hawaii, it seems like the problems are just starting. According to Honolulu Civil Beat, more than 5000 elevators will not get the safety inspections they need. This is primarily due to budget cuts in the state’s government:

“Bill Kunstman, spokesman for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said that the backlog has been building for nearly 20 years. ‘The last time we were able to stay on top of things and the branch was fully staffed was 1995,’ Kunstman said. After that, state budget cuts forced the agency to hire fewer elevator inspectors. ‘That’s when we first got knocked down,” he said. “We’ve been playing catch up ever since.’”

This backup of inspections is not new, the article says, and it is relatively common among many states forced into cutting budgets. The major problem coming up in Hawaii is the potential for the regulation of ziplines, which are a popular tourist attraction in the state.  If a new law regarding zipline inspections was passed, it could cause more backlogged inspections:

“‘If this law [regarding ziplines] were passed, they’re not capable of carrying it out,” Hawaii State Auditor Marion Higa told Civil Beat.  Hawaii’s 1980 Boiler and Elevator Law requires that the state inspect elevators and other equipment — such as escalators, escalators and stage lifts — each year for safety regulation compliance. Elevators in private residences are exempt.”

Even if your state doesn’t require private home elevator inspections – like Hawaii – make sure you get your home elevator checked for safety and functionality reasons at least once a year. Keeping your elevator in top working order is essential!


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