Commercial Elevators – Are They Safe?

Whether you are a business owner considering installing a commercial elevator in your office building or other establishment or just an individual or patron who simply rides on elevators frequently, you may be wondering whether or not commercial elevators are truly safe. In most cases, commercial elevators are completely safe. However, there are certain signs you can look for to know whether or not a particular elevator is one that you should use. Being aware of these signs will help keep you out of a potentially hazardous situation and will enable you to take steps to keep others safe as well.

It must first be mentioned that accidents can occur on any elevator – even the most expensive or well serviced ones. Just like any other machine, elevators can encounter problems. They may break, fall, or get stuck. Fortunately, however, each state has an authority that licenses or certifies elevators for use and that checks for obvious safety violations or problems that may pose a risk to passengers.

The existence of these agencies is the reason that there are far fewer elevator related accidents, injuries, and deaths in the United States. It is also important to note that these agencies do not just perform one check and then write the elevator off as “safe” or “compliant with all standards.” Instead, frequent checks are performed, usually every few months and no less than twice per year. Elevator owners are responsible for correcting any problems that exist before they can keep or obtain a certification.

Any elevator that is operating in a building in the United States must legally have been certified by the local or state board. The next time you are in an elevator, check for a small placard or sign that contains the licensing information. There will be numbers on this sign that identify the elevator, and if you have any issues or concerns with this particular elevator, you can report it by writing down or remembering this number. In the rare case that there is no sign, you are in an elevator that is operating illegally, and you should take steps to report the building or establishment to the appropriate authorities.

Without proper installation, care, and general maintenance, elevators can be a very dangerous thing. You should never ride in an elevator that has not been certified, as this can pose a serious risk to your safety. If you are a business owner and are considering installing an elevator, make sure you research, understand, and carefully follow all regulations in your particular state.

Not doing so could pose a risk to your clients or patrons and can result in hefty fines and fees or even exorbitant legal costs to you. Everyone has the right to feel secure when they ride in an elevator, so it is imperative that everyone work together to keep these machines comfortable and, above all, safe.