In 2014, Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority safety ordered significant upgrades to every single-speed elevator in Ontario – estimates say there are about 700 to 1,200 of them – and gave owners until the end of 2021 to do so. At the same time, the authority said it was mandating risk-mitigating measures, among them maintenance tasks to be done every two months and an annual requirement to take apart, examine and maintain the elevator’s brake components. Data, the authority said at the time, indicated a substantial safety risk related to leveling that was only expected to worsen.
Last month, however, TSSA director Roger Neate decided the mandatory upgrade – already carried out in about 55 instances – was no longer necessary. This decision by one of Canada’s key elevator-safety authorities to rescind the extensive three-year-old upgrade directive has generated both surprise and anger among industry professionals.
The decision by Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority, they say, was made without consultation, raises questions about the basis for the far-reaching order in the first-place, and leaves the public at substantial risk.
Industry consultant Rob Isabelle said the director’s surprise decision raises questions about the data the safety authority relied on then and relied on now.
“How good was your analysis in the first place?” Isabelle said. “If I was the guy that has three small buildings and spent $500,000 and now I receive this order saying it’s not really necessary, I’d be pissed.”
The issue comes on the heels of a Canadian Press investigation which indicated elevator-reliability problems had reached crisis proportions across Canada and prompted the Ontario government to promote legislation to deal with the issue. Earlier this month, the safety authority awarded consulting firm Deloitte a $300,000 contract to carry out potentially groundbreaking research that aims to get at the causes of elevator outages or otherwise poor service and offer solutions.
Compliance codes can be very complicated for elevators. Not only are the codes complicated, but they are constantly being updated and modified. So how can you protect your elevator company from fines and violations associated with ever changing rules and regulations? Using a comprehensive Elevator Contractor Management Software will ensure your company is compliant with new rules and help prevent accidents before they happen. With the click of a button, you can create an email campaign to notify your customers if their elevators fall under a new rule or regulation. Safety manuals and equipment handbooks can be accessible on mobile apps, technicians can communicate with the office immediately or see which qualified technicians are available and in the area for help, checklists can be done online and the back office will know immediately when tasks are complete or if something was missed. As well, you can schedule regular maintenance calls so no inspection or procedure ever gets missed again
The only way to stay safe and compliant is to use an Elevator Contractor Management software that automatically and continuously updates, collects critical data, and issues alerts on violations, complaints, inspections, fines, hearings, jobs, and permits for property owners, managers, and service companies. In today’s environment, compiling manual information on a spreadsheet is not enough to prevent critical issues from slipping through the cracks. Constant attention and technology are required to prevent the accumulation of risk factors that can lead to violations and fines.
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