Elevator Annual Inspections and Controls
In this issue, we discuss the annual inspections and controls of elevators, one of the most important agenda items of our country. The subject of our file has become more meaningful with the Regulation on Periodical Inspection of Elevators, which was published by the Ministry in early May of this year. Elevator annual inspections have become one of the most important issues that industry stakeholders spend a lot of time on. For this purpose, we have invited the most valuable names of the industry as guest writers to share their views on the process and the new regulations, in order to discuss all aspects of the subject in our file. We thank each one individually for taking the time to share their valuable contributions with our readers.
Elevators, which have a significant effect on our ability to move in our daily lives, have been in the service of people for about a hundred and fifty years. In this age when the population is increasingly heading toward the cities, as the value of land is increasing, our living spaces have necessarily changed direction from horizontal to vertical, making the elevator an important part of our lives.
Elevators have passed through various stages from their invention period to modern days, are increasingly safer and more comfortable in proportion to the changing technology and make the lives of people easier, but they have a service life like other mechanical systems. Regular maintenance and control of this system is necessary to maximize the use of elevators during this period and to extend this life as much as possible. There are a number of rules that must be followed, from the manufacture of the entire system, including each component of the elevator, to its market supply and, once it has been used, to the end of its service life. These aforesaid rules are regulated by various legislations.
Historical process of Elevator legislation in Turkey
In our country, elevators are manufactured in compliance with the legislations such as regulations, standards and communiqués prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Technology and other relevant public institutions, supplied to the market and maintained and inspected. The first legislation on elevators was the “Elevator and Installation Instructions and the Public Technical Specification,” prepared by the Ministry of Public Works in 1946. After this specification, as the first regulation, the Elevator Regulation was published in the Official Gazette dated May 12, 1989, and entered into force. The " annual inspections" of elevators was arranged in this regulation. In all elevator regulations that have been amended afterward, annual inspections of elevators are mandatory .
This regulation, which was updated from 1989 to 2008 with the name of Elevator Regulation, was changed into a separate regulation in 2008 by leaving Operation and Maintenance section. In 2015, the Regulation on Elevator Operation, Maintenance and Periodical Control went into effect and in the following period periodical control items were separated from this regulation and became a regulation by itself. The elevator legislation, which was organized in a single regulation at first, has been developed under various names in line with EU harmonization process, developing technology and needs. These regulatory arrangements and updates made are important in terms of revealing the dynamism of the sector.
The Elevator Directive 2014/33/EU dated June 29, 2016, which is in force today, aims to supply elevators to the market in accordance with the basic health and safety requirements. Lastly, the Regulation on Elevator Maintenance, Operation and Periodical Inspection, which was published on June 24, 2015, is in progress. The Regulation on Elevator Periodical Inspection, which regulates periodical inspection of elevators, entered into force on May 4, 2018.
The purpose of these regulations is to determine the rules for operation, maintenance, annual control, and inspection of the maintenance and services of elevators used to transport people and cargoes, to be used after service, in such a way as not to threaten the environment, health and safety of people and living creatures. It also addresses rules to be followed for warranty and after-sales services.
As a result of inclusion of the EU technical legislation in the Turkish legislation, together with the European Union membership process and acceptance of international standards as the Turkish Standard, many standards have been harmonized with the EN standards, so the harmonized standards within the EN 81 family are accepted as Turkish Standards.
Periods in which elevator periodic controls have increased their importance
As it is known, before 2012 elevators were inspected two years after the elevator was commissioned and at least once a year by the municipality in which the building was located and by the institutions and organizations authorized by the Office of the Governor or related laws for buildings outside the Municipality. These insufficient inspections were left to Type-A Inspection Institutions as of January 1, 2012, in accordance with the Elevator Maintenance and Operation Regulation published on November 18, 2008, in line with the requirements. This application regulated by Communiqué Relating to the “Procedures and Principles to be Followed by Type-A Inspection Institutions That Shall Perform Elevator Control Activities,” which was published on August 14, 2012, and put into effect two months later, was entered into final form in the Regulation on Elevator Periodical Inspection published in 2018.
The Type-A inspection institutions that shall perform annual inspections in Turkey are accredited by Turkish Accreditation Agency (TÜRKAK) in accordance with the TS EN ISO IEC 17020 Standard, and perform control activities after being approved by the Ministry. The number of Type-A Inspection Institutions approved for elevator inspection activities is 30, as of August 2018. These institutions carry out the inspections of all elevators located within the boundaries of these institutions in accordance with the protocol they have made with the special provincial administrations for buildings outside the municipalities, or with the Municipalities where the elevators are located, in accordance with the regulations and the checklists and rules contained in the appendix.
First comprehensive annual inspections
The first comprehensive inspection of elevators was carried out in 2012 in line with the checklists prepared in the sub-commission that I participated and in the Elevator Technical Committee, which was established under the authority of the Ministry. All of the past deficiencies and accumulated problems came out of these inspections, and three of four elevators were tagged as red, or, in other words, "insecure." The green label, or, in other words, "safe" elevator ratio was 14 percent. Various reasons could be stated about this result, which was cause célèbre in the sector. Among these reasons, we can state that in the first instance, regular maintenance and inspection for a significant portion of elevators was not carried out until that time, the elevator companies faced with a comprehensive inspection for the first time and were insufficient, Type-A inspection institutions were not able to supply adequate and experienced personnel, building management did not show enough interest in their elevators, and, more importantly, a significant number of elevators in our country really deserved this label. The important consequence of these first checks was that we saw the real situation of elevators trusted by human beings exposed to many unwanted accidents. So, elevators in Turkey could be controlled and whether they were appropriate to use could be revealed by the public authority, and the process and the results could be closely monitored by the industry and public. So this was a good opportunity to take lessons. It happened too!
The problem came to light after annual inspections were owned and addressed, and the elevators were considered more important than ever before. Although the desired levels could not be reached, the common sense is that the elevators were subjected to regular inspections for both the user and the producer. In the following phases of this serious implementation, which started in 2012, elevator companies and inspection institutions shared their experiences with the public authorities and made various adjustments through the course of the problem, checklist and implementation processes. As a result of legislative updates and good practices, there has been a noticeable reduction in the rate of insecure elevators each passing year. According to the results of periodical inspection, elevators are evaluated in four groups as perfect (green), mildly defective (blue), defective (yellow) and insecure (red). You can find more information about these items in the articles of valuable industry members contributing to our file.
According to Ministry reports, the rate of red-labeling changed from 74 percent to 53 percent, and the rate of green-labeling changed from 14 percent to 23 percent during the period between 2012-2017. Two important factors influenced the decline in the red label and the increase in the green label in the six-year period. The first of these is that new elevators organized by the regulation published in 2015 shall not be registered without getting the green label, and the second factor is that the inspections are done seriously, as mentioned above. It is also seen that the ratio of green label, which found 39% in one period (2014), decreased with the regulation of blue labeling (2017 — 21%), which was put into action at the end of the same period. But the data suggest that this positive change will increase more in the coming years.
In the following section of our file, we have included valuable opinions of Civil Society Organizations, Type-A Inspection Institutions, Elevator Companies and Sector Representatives regarding this issue.
We wish all elevators in our country to be inspected and have green labels.