Lifts are extremely important for managing traffic flow in a building, so when something goes wrong and a lift is out of action it is likely to cause inconvenience to its users. It can also be a lot worse if a lift fails, leaving passengers trapped inside and a sudden jolt in movement causes injury. While accidents in lifts are rare, there have been reported cases of deaths due to lift negligence. To avoid such a tragedy and the consequences, regular maintenance is key to ensuring your lifts are safe and functioning as they should. In this blog, we take a look at the common causes of lift breakdown and what you can do to prevent faults.
What causes lift breakdown?
Technical problems such as doors failing to open or close is often a cause of lift failure. This was one of the reasons for the death of a pensioner at Serendipity Care Home in Trafford in 2017* due to a faulty door mechanism. Not only that, the control panel at the top of lift was switched to ‘test mode’ while in operation and loose bolts and spring washers were found on the roof of the lift, all presenting a risk to health and safety.
Worn sheaves is another contributing factor of lift breakdown. This is caused by wear and tear over time from the continued stress of the rope, which can make the sheave uneven and also lead to the rope slipping.
If your lift speeds up or slows down this could be a sign of a misaligned motor drive, and if you cannot control the speed, it is a clear sign of malfunction, which will cause your lift to breakdown. The bearings on the motor can also become loose or damaged, and have a negative impact on the motor function, leading to a faulty lift.
All the above can be a sign of the age of the lift and neglect. Ignoring signs of wear or tear can lead to serious problems that could bring your lift to a halt and even affect someone’s life. Tragically this happened to a five-year-old girl in 2015 who got stuck in a hole in a vision panel of a lift and died of her injuries. An engineer had inspected the lift in May that year and reported the damaged panel, yet it wasn’t fixed and in August the accident happened.* In the case of any type of defect, the lift should be taken out of service and parts replaced quickly.
Preventing lift breakdown
Stringent health and safety measures are essential in the lift industry. This includes regular maintenance, inspections and testing to mitigate lift breakdown, which will help identify any repairs needed early on so work can be carried out efficiently.
For assistance with the performance of your lift, we provide a ride quality monitoring service. This involves recording multiple data sets during the testing process and providing you with a detailed analysis, identifying areas for improvement, including repairs to help prevent breakdowns. We also provide compliance services to ensure you are meeting legal requirements, that will ultimately ensure the safety of your lift.