Lifts have introduced a vital convenience in our lives, especially in high-rise landscapes. It is estimated that over 60,000 passenger lifts are currently in use in Singapore alone. Like most mechanical appliances, elevators call for regular maintenance to ensure absolute safety and reliability.

The new regulatory body obliges that all lifts be properly serviced and maintained at least once a month. Furthermore, the same regime demands these appliances to undergo a comprehensive inspection, testing and examination at least once a year. Lift owners must subsequently apply to BCA for a Permit-to-Operate before the equipment is brought to public use.

BCA Passengers, Cargo and Goods Lift Safety and Regulations

BCA recently concluded the first phase of its review of new elevator safety regulations. The new measures, which supposedly enhance lift safety and reliability, include the introduction of the rigorous outcome-based maintenance regime along with a robust Permit-to-Operate system. These stipulations came to effect in July 2016.

Lifting Installations and Commissioning
The Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations cover the lifting installations and commissioning. Clients/lift owners are obliged to hire a competent Project Supervisor to oversee the Design Process and the Construction Stage. The Final Inspection records, Maintenance and User Manuals along with the Declarations of Conformity form an integral part of the safety file to be submitted to the Client once the construction project comes to completion.
Responsibility of Employers

The regulations place an obligation on employers charged with the operation of lifts. The employers have the following responsibilities:

  • To ensure that all passenger, cargo and goods lifts installed in their establishments undergo a thorough examination every after six months. The process is to be conducted by a competent lift testing & inspection specialist, who will issue a report of the examination upon completion. This report should contain all the information set in the Regulations.
  • The lift analysis experts must adhere to all the safe working conditions as prescribed in the Regulations. The employer should not confuse the six monthly examinations with the regular maintenance activities. The two are not the same.
  • Those who operate the lifts must possess a current report of thorough examination. The same people must also have a log-book with detailed records of any checks and repairs.
Planning, Organizing and Conducting Lifting Operations

The BCA Passengers, Cargo and Goods Lift Safety and Regulations state that all lifting operations must be:

  • Conducted in a safe manner
  • Appropriately planned by a highly specialized and competent person, and
  • Properly supervised

The identification and assessment of potential risk is important in planning any lifting operation. A competent specialist should identify the most suitable equipment and method for the task. Lifting operations range from simple, on-the-job planning by a trained person to very complex operations that require detailed and sophisticated planning. High level of expertise is necessary when it comes to monitoring and supervising complex lifting operations.

Reporting Lift Malfunctions

Elevator users must immediately report lift failures to the owner, Town Councils or the managing agents. Users can find the contact number for reporting any bugs at the lift landing area. Lift owners and contractors must take user feedback with absolute seriousness. Also, they must exercise due diligence in rectifying lift issues.

DO NOT panic if you find yourself trapped in the lifting equipment. Instead, follow these steps closely:

  • Press the alarm and wait for any response
  • Never attempt to pry open the elevator doors
  • Call the lift emergency number and report any lift malfunction

Changes to the safety regulations for lifts

BCA has introduced new safety regulations revolving around a new maintenance regime for public passenger, cargo and goods lifting equipment. The new stipulations comprise up to 20 maintenance requirements tied to key outcomes. Apparently, 18 out of 20 safety regulations are already included in the current regulation.

The new guidelines include checking for grease or oil contamination on elevator parts—including brakes. Oil or grease contamination decreases the performance of the lifting equipment and can even render them ineffective. Consequently, the new rules have it that there is need to ensure the ropes are appropriately and equally tensioned. There should be no sign of excessive wear and tear.

BCA added the following maintenance key outcomes to the previous regulations:

  • Those responsible for lift operations must ensure the equipment only moves when the door is closed
  • And, the equipment stops within 10mm of the ground

Those who do not adhere to the requirements will be prosecuted. If convicted, they will be fined up to $5,000. Notices may also be issued to them to suspend their lift operations.

Lift owners are required to produce an annually renewed Permit-to-Operate license issued by the BCA. It should clearly display the lift contractor responsible for elevator maintenance, in addition to the authorized examiner responsible for inspecting and certifying the lift.

The equipment owner and registered contractor who conducted the most recent maintenance and servicing task on the equipment will have to inform the BCA in the event of an accident involving injury or death of passengers. Additionally, BCA must be notified in case there is a malfunction of critical safety components and parts.

Conclusion

To sum it up, BCA Passengers, Cargo and Goods Lift Safety and Regulations suggest that lift safety is a mutual responsibility. Lift owners and contractors play a key role in ensuring that the lifting equipment is serviced and maintained as per the regulations. Lift users, on the other hand, play a crucial part in ensuring proper and safe use of lifting equipment. Make sure you play your part very well. Say NO to deaths arising for lift malfunctions.

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