After a short delay, the Ontario government has finally responded to the TSSA’s report on elevator availability and reliability. The Ontario government announced its elevator availability action plan to address all of the recommendations included in the final report. This phased-in action plan will make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to establish elevator repair timelines.
Ontario’s elevator availability action plan includes the following proposed actions and projected timelines:
Enhancing access to elevators for first responders (mid-2018).
Enhancing enforcement of elevator safety regulation by TSSA to ensure elevators are adequately and proactively maintained (fall 2018).
Addressing the labour supply of elevator mechanics through consultations to determine options to meet labour market demands (fall 2018).
Creating future standards for elevator repair timelines, including proposing any necessary legislative and regulatory amendments, to be informed by the data collected by TSSA — making Ontario the first jurisdiction worldwide to do so (2018 through 2019).
Developing education and awareness materials for building owners and residents to support compliance with requirements for notice of service disruptions (fall 2018 and into early 2019).
Creating new standards for conducting traffic analyses and the minimum number of elevators in new residential and institutional high-rise buildings through changes to the Ontario Building Code (beginning 2018 through 2021).
Establishing baseline data through proposed legislative and regulatory changes creating reporting requirements for elevator outage data and making the data publicly available (early to mid-2019).
Designating an appropriate regulatory body to administer and enforce requirements regarding elevator availability, including standards for elevator repair and timelines, and to advise on associated compliance costs for elevator contractors and owners (late 2019).
THE TSSA Final Report
The elevator availability action plan is in response to on-going concerns related to elevator reliability and availability and the lack of data on the topic. As a result, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), in partnership with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA), engaged Retired Superior Court Justice Douglas Cunningham to author an independent study, with support from Deloitte’s Public Sector Strategy team. The final report was released on January 25th, 2018. Ontario’s elevator availability plan aims to define and enhance elevator reliability by ensuring building owners perform preventive maintenance to reduce the thousands of annual entrapments and other unscheduled shutdowns.
According to retired Justice Douglas Cunningham’s 57-page report, “There are currently no minimum preventive maintenance standards in Ontario to minimize future availability issues. Compliance with minimum maintenance standards for safety, shown to signal more effective preventive maintenance practices, is at an all-time low.”
Cunningham also reports that only one in five residential buildings are meeting minimum rules for scheduled maintenance tasks.
Other recommendations include forcing contractors to report outages over 48 hours or when half the elevators in a building are out of service — 80 per cent of buildings have only one or two lifts — and having a defined plan to restore service.
Cunningham believes the problems that trigger elevator outages are a “diverse and complex set of interrelated issues” including maintenance, capacity problems and labour shortages.
In Ontario, the TSSA are responsible for regulating elevators, from licensing to inspections, and ensuring that all devices conform to current regulations, codes and standards. There are over 20,000 elevators in Ontario located in approximately 10,000 residential and institutional buildings. This equates to over 655,000 elevator trips each day.
Tracy MacCharles, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services said “Having access to a working elevator shouldn’t be considered a luxury, especially for those with disabilities, the sick and the elderly. Our proposed actions would position Ontario as a world leader for elevator repair timelines and ensure those who need elevator access, have access.”
Rimrock Corporation is committed to developing FIELDBOSS Lift for contractors and consultants to help with the compliance associated with the elevator availability action plan.
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 are 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 completed online and the back office will know immediately when tasks are finished or if something was missed.
Automate regularly scheduled maintenance calls so no inspection or procedure ever gets missed.
Automatically and continuously update information, collect critical data, and receive 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.