Lifts are subject to various inspections in the course of their lifespan. A new lift is inspected and examined in connection with the placement on the market, and, subsequent to taking into use, lifts are subject to periodic inspections. Lifts are also inspected after alterations.
The Act on Lifts and Safety Components for Lifts contains provisions on the inspection of various types of equipment included in the sphere of application of the Machinery Directive, e.g. escalators, travelators, platform lifts, passenger paternoster lifts and electrically powered lifting doors.
Further information on inspections is provided in the Tukes guideline Lift maintenance, alteration works and inspections.
The first periodic inspection is carried out on a passenger lift within two years of the date of taking into use and every second year after this initial inspection.
These same intervals are applied to periodic inspections carried on escalators, mechanical walkways, platform lifts and passenger paternoster lifts. With the exception of rolling doors and lifting doors in private use, electrically powered lifting doors whose lifting height is greater than 2.9 metres are subject to the first periodic inspections within four years of the date of taking into use and at four-year intervals after this initial inspection.
The purpose of periodic inspections is to verify the safe working order and proper maintenance of the equipment. In the inspection, the technical components and the proper functioning of the equipment are examined. In the inspection, it is also examined whether the maintenance programme issued is suitable for the equipment in question and whether the maintenance programme has been duly observed.
The lift possessor is responsible for ensuring that all periodic inspections are carried on the lift.
Periodic inspections are carried out by the accredited bodies approved by Tukes. Lifting doors may also be inspected and examined by accredited inspectors. A register of accredited operators competent to carry out inspections is available on the Tukes website.
In the event that major deficiencies are detected in the lift in the periodic inspection, the lift is ordered to be reinspected. The reinspection must be carried out within three months. The lift can remain in service during this period, but the deficiencies must be remedied promptly.
Inspection and examination of a new lift
Before a new lift can be taken into use, its conformity with the requirements set out the directive, including the applicable essential health and safety requirements (Annex I of the Lifts Directive), must be assessed and verified following the procedures under the Lifts Directive 2014/33/EU. The Lifts Directive has been transposed into national legislation by the Act on Lifts and Safety Components for Lifts. In Finland, the most frequently applied conformity assessment procedures are the final inspection for lifts bearing an EU-type examination certificate (Annexes IV and V) and the conformity assessment procedure based on unit verification for lifts not bearing an EU-type examination certificate (Annex VIII).
The installer has a statutory obligation to have the conformity of a new lift assessed and verified. Once the conformity of the lift has been verified, the installer affixes a CE marking on the lift and issues a declaration of conformity for the lift.
Only notified bodies are permitted to carry out inspections of new lifts. After the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, acting as the competent national notifying authority, has notified an accredited body to the European Commission, this notified body has the right to carry out inspections under the Lifts Directive across the EU.
In order to ensure the safety of escalators, mechanical walkways and platform lifts, a verification inspection is carried out within three months of the date of taking into use. As for lifting doors subject to periodic inspections, a verification inspection is carried out within six months of the date of taking into use. The verification inspection must renewed, if the equipment is relocated to another place of use.
The possessor of the equipment is responsible for ensuring that a verification inspection is carried out. Both periodic and verification inspections are carried out by the accredited bodies approved by Tukes.
Inspection of alterations
Alteration means the replacement of a component or structural subsystem with a component or subsystem that deviates from the original assembly. Alterations can be divided into major and minor alterations. A major alteration is an alteration which affects the rated speed, rated load, carrier weight or lifting height of the lift, or involves the installation of new safety components, the alteration of existing safety components or the replacement of existing safety components with another type of safety component. An extensive major alteration is also called refurbishment or renovation. All other alterations are minor alterations.
Whenever major alterations are carried out, the upgraded components and structures included in the scope of alteration must be inspected by an accredited body before recommissioning the lift. The inspection is carried out to the applicable extent in accordance with the conformity assessment procedure based on unit verification (Annex VIII).
The qualified contractor is responsible for the conformity with the relevant requirements of any minor alteration carried out by the contractor. Before the lift is recommissioned, the contractor conducts a self-inspection on the alteration work completed. Alterations are recorded in the maintenance log, and the technical documentation of the lift is updated accordingly. The accredited body will examine the alteration in connection with the next periodic inspection.