After a lift is taken into use, the possessor of the lift shall take every measure necessary to ensure the safety of the lift. The owner or possessor of the building in which a lift is permanently installed is considered the possessor of the lift. In a housing company, the possessor is typically represented by the chairman of the board or the property manager.
The possessor shall ensure that:
- a valid maintenance programme is issued for the lift
- the lift is duly serviced in accordance with the maintenance programme
- any defects or deficiencies detected in the lift are remedied without undue delay
- all relevant inspections are carried out on the lift
- all documentation related to the lift is kept available to the maintenance contractor and the inspectors
- passengers can be evacuated safely from the lift.
The possessor shall ensure that a valid maintenance programme is issued for the lift and that the lift is duly serviced in accordance with the maintenance programme. The maintenance programme specifies the routine maintenance tasks to be performed in the course of the maintenance visits, and the schedule of regular maintenance visits. In practice, the possessor contracts maintenance out to a lift maintenance company.
The lift possessor prepares the maintenance programme in collaboration with lift industry experts. The anticipated duty, operating environment and type of the lift must be taken into consideration in the preparation of the maintenance programme and in the determination of the scope of preventive and routine maintenance required. The maintenance instructions issued by the lift installer, including the maintenance tasks specified therein, are the starting point in the preparation of the maintenance programme.
Ascertaining appropriate maintenance
Appropriate maintenance is essential in terms of the safety and reliability of operation of the lift. The maintenance contract and the choosing of the maintenance company should be considered with great care. Inadequate maintenance will result in defects and mechanical malfunctions that require separate repairs, and can also potentially compromise lift safety. The maintenance company must allocate sufficient time and resources for the maintenance tasks to be performed during the scheduled maintenance visit.
The possessor can ascertain appropriate maintenance by monitoring the following, for example
- General condition of the lift and tidiness of the lift spaces.
- Is the lift operating faultlessly?
- Are there any minor defects or deficiencies?
- Are there any major defects or service disruptions that require separate repairs?
- Reviewing the lift's maintenance log. Have all maintenance tasks been performed in accordance with the maintenance programme?
- Reviewing the records and reports of the periodic inspections. Have a great many defects been detected in the inspections?
Repairs of defects and deficiencies
The possessor shall ensure that all defects and deficiencies detected in the lift will be repaired without undue delay. After being informed of a defect in the lift by e.g. a passenger, maintenance company or inspector, the possessor must initiate corrective action without delay. In practice, repairs are contracted out to a lift maintenance company.
Defects and deficiencies detected in the periodic lift inspections are recorded in the inspection report. The report is addressed to the lift possessor who must ensure that all recorded defects and deficiencies will be repaired. Lift possessors may not, at their discretion, choose to disregard repairing the defects and deficiencies detected and recorded in the inspections, but, instead, they have the right to appeal the inspection report, as provided in the appeal instructions enclosed in the inspection report issued.
The purpose of inspections carried out on a regular basis is to secure the safety and appropriate maintenance of lifts. The lift possessor shall ensure that all periodic inspections are carried on the lift. A passenger lift is subject to a periodic inspection every second year.
A lift inspection is based on a commission between the lift possessor and the inspection body, i.e. an inspection contract is concluded by the possessor and the inspection body. The possessor can also authorise the maintenance company to conclude inspection contracts on their behalf. In most cases, a representative of the maintenance company is present at the inspection.
Accredited bodies approved by Tukes carry out inspections on lifts. A register of these accredited bodies is available on the Tukes website (in Finnish and in Swedish).
Further information on inspections is available in the section Lift inspections.
All documentation related to the lift must be retained and stored carefully. This documentation includes e.g. the structural design schematics, operating and maintenance instructions, maintenance log and inspection reports.
Of these documents, at least the maintenance programme, maintenance log, maintenance instructions and emergency evacuation instructions must be kept available in the immediate vicinity of the lift for the purposes of maintenance personnel and inspectors. The documents can be stored in the lift machine room or in the lift control cabinet, if there is no dedicated machine room.
Despite proper maintenance and regular inspections, a lift may stop between two levels in the event of malfunction and trap passengers inside the car. In these situations, the assistance of experienced lift professionals is required for evacuation. Evacuation operations executed incorrectly can seriously endanger the safety of both the passengers and the evacuation personnel. Customarily, the lift possessor agrees with the lift maintenance company on the organisation of evacuation operations.
As a rule, calling regional rescue services to the scene should be limited to incidents in which a passenger trapped in the lift car is injured or in any immediate danger, or there is any other particular reason for the assistance of the rescue services in the evacuation.