Uninspected Elevators Pose Danger!

DateJuly-August 2017 Varlık Özerciyes - TMMOB Chamber of Mechanical Engineers (MMO) Ankara Branch Chairman Print

According to the provisions of “Regulation on Elevator Operating, Maintenance and Periodical Inspection,” in order to protect the life, safety and property of elevator users, building managers are responsible for seeing that monthly and annual inspections are done. Those elevators lacking inspections and maintenance continue to pose danger to the public by causing accidents that can result in loss of lives and permanent injuries.

Attention to red-tagged elevators

With the Regulation on Elevator Operating, Maintenance and Periodical Inspection, published in the Official Gazette dated June 24, 2015, and numbered 29396, considerations related to taking necessary precautions for elevators that have been determined as not safe following the annual periodical inspections have been reorganized. With the same regulation, criminal penalties have been established for building managers, related administrations and maintenance companies with respect to areas of responsibility, in such cases where the regulation is not duly followed. Municipalities have the responsibility of requiring annual inspection of every elevator within the municipal border by a Type A Inspection Body, and to check whether the annual inspection has indeed been carried out.

Relevant administrations have been notified by attaching a red tag to unsafe elevators, yellow tag to defective elevators, a blue tag to elevators with minimal defects, and green tag to elevators in compliance according to criteria determined by the regulation. Red-tagged elevators should have their problems addressed within 30 day, while owners of yellow-tagged elevators have 60 day to correct their faults, or they will be red- tagged by relevant authorities and ordered out of use. A deficient elevators that cannot be made safe by the end of the time stated in the regulation will not have its red tag removed until it is made safe.

50% of them have red tags

It is essential for annual inspections to be made by expert engineers in accordance with the technique and with a view to public inspection within the scope of the Regulation on Elevator Operating, Maintenance and Periodical Inspection. In order to prevent accidents, it is of prime importance that building owners are made aware of their obligations related to elevator as spelled out in the regulation. Our branch visits all district municipalities in Ankara regularly each year, carries out public information meetings and signs “elevator inspection protocols”

In this regard, in 2016, our Chamber in Ankara, a Type A Inspection Body, carried out an inspection of 21,958 elevators within the border of municipalities where protocol was in force. All parts of elevators inspected by our experienced inspection engineers were checked under six main categories. Important deficiencies resulting from production, installation, insufficient maintenance and operation were detected in most of them.

Among the elevators that we inspected in the capital city, 10,626 were red-tagged, 633 were yellow-tagged, 4,013 had blue tags, and 6,686 received a green tag. While the number of red-tagged elevators found by our branch in Ankara within the border of municipalities where the protocol was made was about 80% in previous years, this rate fell to 50% in 2016. While an improvement, the figures are still scary.

Approximately 50,000 elevators are estimated to be in the capital city. This reveals important data regarding estimated rates of inspection in Turkey. In brief, most of the elevators in our country have not been inspected, and most of the elevators that have been inspected have red tags. To use them poses a danger in terms of life safety.

For inspection, professional chambers should be engaged

Because of their role in establishing safe, healthy, contemporary and planned buildings and cities, elevator systems need scientific, technical designs and applications. In our country, the authorization to inspect the elevators for appropriate construction before issuance of building utilization permit (as a result of reports prepared by building inspection institutions) belongs to local administrations, or to governorships, if the buildings are located outside the borders of urban areas. However, in our country there are many buildings without occupancy permits, and inspections for these elevators have not been carried out. This means that there are risky elevators in these buildings in terms of life and property safety. It should be noted that there are many public institutes carrying these kinds of risk.Making the inspections of elevators that will receive registration with the Regulation on Elevator Operating, Maintenance and Periodical Inspection compulsory will be an important step for eliminating inappropriateness in elevators which will be supplied newly to the market.

Because of legal gaps, certain local administrations can carry out the registration process without employing authorized engineers. During these processes, professional chambers are excluded, and our chambers and municipalities can only intervene following the registration process within the scope of protocols made. For these reasons, comprehensive inspections cannot be performed, and the result often is elevator accidents. In order to provide regular “monthly maintenance and annual periodical inspections,” and inspection in accordance with scientific technical basis and regulations, new legal arrangements that provide local-central administrations, universities and professional chambers to work collaboratively are compulsory. In this context, “Legislations related to Construction” and “Building Inspection Law” having many problems and deficiencies should certainly be revised.

We invite all the public to act responsibly and to follow the inspections of elevators used in the places where our citizens are living by reminding again that fatalistic approaches should be abandoned and “public inspection” should be operated in order to avoid elevator accidents, which trouble everyone.