Inspection obligation neglected
According to the Association of Technical Monitoring Associations (VdTÜV), Germany has a high lift safety level. This emerged from the most recently published lift safety report.
But what is alarming is that many operators do not register their lifts for inspections despite statutory regulations. The VdTÜV assumes that about 20 % of all lifts have been withdrawn from the inspection obligation.
Subject to inspection
At the end of April the VdTÜV published a lift safety report – a statistical evaluation of the legally prescribed inspections on lifts requiring inspection by the inspection bodies authorised for this purpose in 2015. Lifts are also subject to inspection in the terms of Operational Safety Ordinance.
The technical inspections of the authorised inspection bodies in 2015 revealed that 38.6 % of lifts were free of defects and almost half of the inspected lifts (47.72 %) only had slight defects.
Condition is unknown
Nevertheless the experts did not give the all-clear, since the number of inspected lifts with critical safety defects was about 70,000 (13.04 %). On top of this, every fifth lift was not presented by its operator to the legally prescribed inspection.
Consequently the condition of these lifts is unknown. But the number of lifts inspected increased from 500,000 to about 530,000 in 2014. "The Operational Safety Ordinance introduced an obligatory test sticker on lifts from June 2015,” explained Dr Klaus Brüggemann, managing member of the board of directors of the VdTÜV, "A first positive effect may already be visible here."
Lifts were safe if they underwent sufficient qualified maintenance and care, emphasized the VDMA Trade Association Lifts and Escalators. Several accidents could have been avoided through investments in modernization. The increase in safety in lifts was due to numerous measures. For example, the installation of car separation doors, emergency call systems and light grids as door safeguards and the increase in stopping precision of lifts had contributed to more safety.