Detailed Insights For A Better Understanding Of The Safety Provisions In Elevators

Detailed Insights For A Better Understanding Of The Safety Provisions In Elevators

Elevators are considered as the safest means for travel

Rajnikant LadUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 08:50 PM IST
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Elevators are considered as the safest means for travel. It is proven beyond doubt that you are safe inside the elevator as long as you follow the safety protocol. Let us first understand the safety provisions provided as per IS recommendations and lift rules requirements.

Safety provisions

(1) Door locks mechanical and electrical locking (2) Door safety screen

(3) Door open button (4) Final limit switches (5) Terminal switches

(6) Overload (7) Auto rescue device (8) Over speed governor (9) Spring buffers (10) Alarm bell (11) Intercom (12) CCTV

The main reasons behind deaths in elevator accidents are as follows:

1) Free fall (2) Wrong rescue procedure

Free fall incidents are very rare. There is a safety provision for holding the elevator cabin during free fall, called overspeed governor. In case of free fall, the passenger must hold the handrail firmly and lay down on the elevator floor if space permits. There is no chance of any death during free fall. The death, if it happens, can be because of fear or shock or physical health issues of the passenger.

My study of the accidents shows that most of the accidents are reported because of lack of awareness about elevator safeties. Most deaths are reported during rescue operations.

The reasons behind them are as follows:

1) Lack of awareness about the rescue procedures

2) Wrong rescue approach

If we follow the prescribed rescue protocol, then the death during rescue operations can be controlled. The rescue procedures, which need to be followed are detailed as under:

1) If you are trapped inside an elevator, do not try to come out, wait for outside help.

2) Try to call for outside help through the alarm bell, intercom, personal mobile or bang the door panels. You are safe inside the elevator if you follow safety norms.

3) The person taking up rescue operations must first switch off the elevator supply from the machine room.

4) Release the brake slowly and move the elevator up or down whichever is convenient. One must know how to use the brake release system and use flywheel for elevator movement.

5) Take the elevator to the nearest floor level.

6) Open the door and rescue the passengers.

7) Keep the elevator switched off and call a service technician to check the elevator.

Looking at the accident records, the Government of Maharashtra has taken few steps in the interest of the users: (1) Replacement of collapsible doors by imperforated doors (2) Validity of lift license for twenty years

(3) Compulsory lift inspection once a year (4) Making auto rescue devices a compulsory one (5) Making audio visual overload a compulsory one

Even after having all rules and regulations in place we come across fatal accidents but certainly the number or frequency is getting reduced. To achieve zero death in elevator accidents we need to create awareness among the users.

Creating awareness among the elevator users, on a regular basis, can be the best and effective way for reducing the death during elevator accidents. A number of elevator companies and safety organisations are providing training and creating awareness among the users.

Elevator users are requested to ask their elevator service provider to arrange for rescue training sessions on a regular basis. If a safety clip is shown on television regularly, it will have a long-term effect. Elevator companies and government departments creating safety awareness can take the lead in this direction.

(The writer is an elevator auditor, founder of the Elevator Safety Forum India, plus an active member of the National Safety Council and Society for Reliability and Safety)

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