The Importance of Lift Maintenance
If you are looking to become employed as a lift engineer, it is important to have a strong understanding of how to properly employ lift maintenance in your role.
Reading and digesting the tips below will help you approach any future courses, qualifications, or exams with a broad understanding of what is needed before you move on to the more complex inner workings of this job role.
Firstly, lifts are commonly placed in high rise buildings, or ones which have a business function, and because of this they will often see frequent daily use. This can be from transporting goods from floor to floor, providing disabled access to certain sections of a building, or even helping transport perishables to higher floor restaurants.
As they have so many important uses, in the event that they break down it can cause a significant disruption for any surrounding business or customers. There are some circumstances where the need for a repair is unavoidable, however, effective lift maintenance is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of breakdown occurring.
The five tips we have laid out below will provide a general base for your knowledge on lift maintenance moving forward.
1. Maintain a Regular Lift Maintenance Schedule.
Lift engineers should ensure any onsite facility managers (or whoever is responsible for maintenance) have a planned maintenance schedule in place, where the engineer is only subcontracted out. This schedule ought to account for what to do in preventing issues, and the best ways to fix them should a problem arise.
Things to consider when looking at a lift system should include their age, frequency of use, and the size of the building. Older lifts, lifts in large buildings, and those which see hourly use will naturally require more frequent inspections.
Another key factor to account for is how many floors a lift has to travel through, with greater distances resulting in the lift mechanism wearing out faster. Calculating this factor can help with all future predictions.
Lifts should be examined every 6 months if they regularly carry passengers, and annually if they are used for good transportation only. Following a significant change, update, or repair in a system a 12-month inspection should also be scheduled.
Preventive maintenance includes the replacement of worn or damaged parts, topping up liquid levels and making any additional adjustments in relation to their use.
2. Avoid the Use of Industrial Cleaners.
The internal mechanisms of a lift are susceptible to corrosion should they come into contact with an unexpected or harsh substance. Nearly all industrial cleaners cause varying levels of corrosion depending on their strength, which in turn leads to internal mechanical failures.
It is advisable to completely avoid the use of any such cleaner on a lift unless the cleaner is verified by a recognised body or the company which you work for.
3. Keep a Log of any Operation Problems.
Logging and reviewing how often a lift has mechanical or use issues and the frequency and weight it experiences is a helpful way to begin diagnosing any problems.
In many lift engineer roles you can be employed by a service contractor who will allocate you to overseeing a number of different sites. Ensuring a log in made and kept up to date will allow you, or one of your colleagues, to easily see the history of a lift and conclude on what steps must be undertaken next much quicker.
Considering any recurring patterns, such as problems occurring during peak usage time, sounds which may be heard during specific times of the day or under certain weight loads, could mean preventative reparations are made before a much bigger problem transpires.
4. Conduct Demonstrations and Seminars for Relevant Parties
Accidents will happen even with the best safety precautions in place and routine checks. It is important to warn all lift users about possible hazards, such as sticking their hand between closing doors in an attempt to grab the lift.
The easiest way to minimize the chances of injuries is to have a short education session, alongside installing posters or signs of potential hazards either inside or near a lift.
5. Keep up to date with Regulations.
Lift rules, regulations and legislation are constantly changing to ensure the welfare of the public and to enhance the work of lift firms and their maintenance activities. While guidelines can be stringent, they are essential for lift engineers to maintain stable lift systems around the world.
One of the most relevant Regulations you should know about is Regulation 9 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) which states that all lifts provided for use in work activities are thoroughly examined by a competent person at regular intervals.
This means that you have a legal responsibility to ensure that the lift is thoroughly examined and that it is safe to use. You can find out what standard a thorough examination would constitute is here.
Some of the most up to date regulations can also be found in the Statutory Guidance Lift Regulations 2016. It is very important to note that since the UK has left the EU, some of the rules and procedures have changed a of 1st January 2021. You can find out more about this on the hse website.