Lift Thorough Examinations in Relation Covid-19

Please see below the HSE’s position regarding thorough examination of lifts in relation to the current Covid-19 outbreak.

For the thorough examination lift industry, the following applies:

Following the Government’s recent announcement that we are now in the ‘delay’ phase of the COVID- 19 outbreak, the HSE is advising owners of lifting equipment and in particular engineering companies
who carry out the thorough examinations and testing of lifting equipment to note the following:

  • Lifting equipment for the lifting of persons is carried out every six months with a dated report issued to the lift owner. The next six-month examination should take place on or before this date, but not after.
  • If no thorough examination has taken place prior to the date on the report, the lifting equipment should not be used until it has been examined by a competent person.
  • However, if engineering companies, are suffering shortages in their own resources, they should consider focusing their thorough examination of lifts on premises where the most vulnerable are located such as hospitals and care homes where people may not be as able to use stairs, as opposed to shops and offices where staff maybe more able to do so.

Most premises have more than one lift so some redundancy is already built in should a lift have to be taken out of use having gone beyond its examination date until an engineer is available to visit.
There is a higher risk of lifting equipment failure should it not be examined as per the six month schedule and duty holders are expected to take all reasonably practicable steps to make sure their equipment complies with the law.

HSE will keep the situation under review and does not have any plans to issue any exemptions to LOLER requirements.

In addition, the HSA have fed back to SAFed as follows:

  • No derogation is being considered.
  • A pragmatic approach should be used and entering sites to conduct inspections should be following controlled circumstances, considering the health perspective of those conducting the examinations.

For example, examination companies should consider their workforce safety from a health point of view, just as clients are doing. This could be done by preparing a Risk Assessment or adopting a company approach to ensure protection of workforce health considering the risks posed in the environment in which the examinations will take place.

If the examination of a piece of equipment is overdue, the responsibility is with the client and a pragmatic approach should be adopted.

Paul Hastings of iKONIC Lifts Stated in regards to LOLER :

Inspection and testing of equipment such as passenger lift and platform lift equipment is necessary to ensure these items continue to be safe for use, as covered under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment (LOLER) Regulations 1998

If establishments are in lock-down, consideration should be given to prevent the use of the equipment.  If the lifts are to be used, a risk assessment should be carried out, balancing the risk of allowing access to the equipment in situ and then cleaning and disinfecting, against the risk of the item failing if it is not taken out of use until inspection and testing can be carried out.

Service providers will need to exercise judgement to determine what would be classed as essential need based on a risk assessment around client safety, especially where a visit may be necessary to assess, install and service equipment.

Establishments will need to consider the wide range of equipment in use and ensure essential maintenance is carried out.

If you require any advice and help regarding any of the above please do not hesitate to contact our team