No to considering cost cuts when it comes to lift safety
- Infrastructure & Transportation
- Created by Thomas Maldet
Taking the lift is part of many people’s daily routine in Austria. The country’s 100,000 lifts handle 6.5 billion rides per year. The fact that, these days, the use of lifts is as safe as it possibly can be is the result both of technological advances made by lift manufacturers and regular service and maintenance work. But there is another reason why lifts are among the safest means of transport today: they are inspected once a year by an independent inspection body – without prior notice.
TÜV AUSTRIA Lift Technology is one of these independent inspection bodies in Austria. For Thomas Maldet, Head of Division, it is a matter of course that the annual inspections must continue. He refers to the relevant statistics. “Inspections carried out by our technicians show that over 30 percent of lift systems exhibit defects. In most cases, the operator or the maintenance company are notified immediately after our checks so as to correct the defects without delay. Regrettably, we also have to decommission some lifts when the lift users’ safety is no longer guaranteed.”
Independent expert – impartial inspection
Maldet disapproves of considerations to combine the annual independent inspection of lift systems with maintenance appointments. “Lifts are among the safest means of transport that exist in Austria not least due to the regular inspections. Maintenance work requires different expert knowledge from safety and system inspection, and one cannot be compared with the other. In the interest of lift users’ safety it is indispensable to have the inspection carried out by independent experts who are not concerned with maintenance, repair or the manufacture of lifts and who, therefore, have no vested interest in selling spare parts, etc. Because only an independent expert can perform a truly impartial inspection.”
Incidentally: The average costs for the annual lift inspection in an apartment building amount to approximately 250 euros. Each lift handles between 100,000 and 150,000 rides per year. This means that the inspection costs are 1/5 cent per ride. However, many lifts, such as in hotels and public institutions, are used even more frequently.