From electric and hydraulic passenger and goods lifts through platform lifts and step lifts to service lifts.
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) require six-monthly examination of passenger lifts and lifts that can carry passengers, and annual inspections of other lifts including goods and service lifts. As well as advising you on exactly what needs to be examined and when in order to comply with current legislation, we’ll notify you when inspections are due to ensure that you fulfil your statutory obligations.
The Thurra team is a good source of reference and guidance on these requirements; more detailed information is available in the HSE’s guide for lift owners: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg339.pdf
We provide a qualified inspection service for a full range of lifts including:
- Passenger lifts
- Passenger/goods lifts
- Stair lifts
- Disability access and wheelchair lifts
- Goods lifts*
- Service lifts/dumb waiters*
*Require annual inspections. All others require six-monthly inspections.
Common defects of Passenger and Goods Lifts
Our Engineers are out in the field inspecting plant and equipment day in, day out. From this experience, we have compiled a series of reports of the most common defects they find, some tips on what you can do to stay safe in between inspections and simple preventative measures. Remember, some of these defects are not only inconvenient but may in some cases be fatal to operators or those in the vicinity.
- Dirty lift pit – Oil leaks and litter are very common in lift wells and are a potential fire hazard. Any potential fire is a significant risk to occupants of buildings where lifts are installed. Worthy of note, lift shafts are free-venting therefore any fire risk should be escalated to ensure immediate action is carried out to eliminate the risk.
- Signs of lift overloading – Any overload experienced by a goods lift, service lift or dumb waiter will cause excessive strain on the lifting mechanism beyond the design constraints of the lift. This could potentially cause the lift to fail.
- Poor or inoperative shaft lighting – A well illuminated lift shaft will aid the engineer surveyor, service engineer and if required the emergency services to carry out the required duties in a safe and efficient manner.
- Lift and landing floor misalignment – The misalignment of the lift to the landing floor does not facilitate the smooth enter and exit of the lift. This is also seen as a trip hazard and has the potential of damaging the landing and car door sills.
- Uneven tension of lift hoist ropes – This is quite common. In such a situation the overloading and excessive wear of components could cause the lift to fall into an unsafe situation.
- Inoperative lift car alarms – usually the back-up battery has discharged. This should be picked up as part of a regular maintenance regime.
- Inoperative lift auto-dialler – this should dial out to the maintenance contractor, or designated contractor in the event of the lift car alarm being pressed in an emergency. Most common cause of this fault is when the lift maintenance company has been changed and the auto-dialler hasn’t been re-programmed.
- Dirty lift pits – usually as a result of poor maintenance. A lift pit that has become filled with dirt and oil is considered a fire hazard and therefore unsafe for engineers.
- Leaking hoist ram seals on hydraulic lifts – usually caused by usage, or changes in weather conditions. This should be addressed as part of your maintenance regime. This can eventually lead to the lift pit filling with oil, constituting a fire hazard.
- Inoperative shaft lighting – can be the odd light not working, or even every shaft light. It’s dark in a lift shaft and our engineer safety is important to us!
- Foot rest interlocks not operating as designed– These safety functions are designed to prevent the accidental trapping of ankles as the stair lift moves up and down the stairs. Regular checks should be carried out on these to ensure continued safe operation.
- Upper and lower level stops not operating as designed – Over-run of the lifts can cause the lift to lock out as part of its safety function and as such can only be reset by a service engineer. Regular checks should be carried out on these to ensure the continued operation.
- Lift not coming to rest at floor level – The misalignment of the lift to the landing floor does not facilitate the smooth enter and exit of the lift. This is also seen as a trip hazard.
- Control buttons worn– Ideally these should be clean, clear and in large print to prevent any accidental operation or confusion.
- Ultimate cutout not functioning as designed – When a lift reaches its ultimate limit of travel an ultimate limit switch should lock out the lift. This is a safety function that protects anyone riding on the lift. If this does not operate as designed then the lift could be damaged and cause distress to any one travelling on the lift.
- Defective Safety Locks – Due to the hard-working environment that tailboard lifts operate in, it is common to see tailboard lifts with inoperative safety locks or devices which prevent the suspended load falling from the rear of a lorry or van. As part of any thorough examination conducted by Thurra, the condition of the hydraulic ram, lifting chains pulleys and the structural integrity of the tailboard lift are examined and assessed. A functional test of the safety locks is conducted. These safety devices are called into operation very rarely, so therefore the owner and operator need to be confident that when required these safety devices will operate as designed.
- Defective Tailboard Lift Stowage – On some tailboard lifts when the tailboard lift is not in use they can be stowed in the vertical position at the rear of the lorry / van. It is common to see the retaining brackets distorted. In such cases there is the possibility that the tailboard lift could move from its stowed position whilst the lorry / van is travelling. This could in turn contribute to a serious road traffic accident. The thorough examination conducted by Thurra will include an assessment of the condition of the tailboard lift stowage mechanism, reporting any concerns to the owner or user immediately.
- Strained and distorted lifting platform – Tailboard lifts are constantly lifting and lowering many different types of loads. This constant loading can, on occasions, cause the lift platform to bow. In such cases the strength of the tailboard lift and the stability of the lifted load could be compromised. In such cases there is a distinct possibility that any such load could roll off the back of the tailboard lift, injuring the operator or personnel in the vicinity. The examination conducted by Thurra would include an assessment of the tailboard lifts structural integrity.
- Slips on wet tailboard lifting platforms – Most tailboard lifts operate in all types of weather. When they become wet, they do present a significant slip hazard, either at ground level or when raised. As part of the examination, Thurra will assess the condition of the tailboard lift determining whether or not there is sufficient anti-slip coating in place. Slipping on a tailboard lift when raised or when at ground level presents a potentially very serious situation which can be significantly reduced with regular examinations and good maintenance routines.
- Defective control and interlock buttons / switches – The inadvertent movement of the tailboard lift is a serious matter which can cause serious accidents and injuries. These can be significantly reduced:
- If the operator has clear operation controls indicated on the control panel / pendent.
- Most tailboard lifts are fitted with a tamper proof function which prevents anyone operating the tailboard lift other that the designated operator.
- Worn or damaged radial arm jacking pad rubber pads – there should be enough material to continue to cause adhesion between the pad and the vehicle. Badly worn / damaged rubber pads are to be renewed before further use.
- Ineffective radial arm locks – should be checked on a daily basis, in a variety of different positions. The locks should fully engage and retain the arms in the locked position.
- Worn or damaged lifting ropes – these are checked by our engineer surveyors to ISO4309. If any evident, the number of broken wires are reported on. In addition, the increase, or decrease in diameter is assessed, using a Vernier calliper, plus any corrosion is also assessed.
- Inoperative safety switches or emergency stop switches – these should be checked daily, especially emergency stop switches. The consequences of them being inoperative could be life threatening.
- Loose post floor fixings – again, these can be checked for security on a daily basis. Commonly found on newly installed vehicle lifts.