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Frequent Elevator Failures Abroad, Regulatory Policies Are Indispensable

Feb 28, 2019

Reports of various elevator accidents have forced people to turn their attention to the issue of "China's elevators are aging." In fact, since the American Otis invented the first "safety lift" more than 150 years ago, the topic of elevator safety has been prosperous in all countries of the world. Even in many horror films such as "Death to Come", the elevators have played a terrible bloody "killer." Relatively speaking, the popularity of elevators in China is not long, and there is no mature system for elevator safety management. So how do elevators in developed countries guarantee safety?


1.United States


200 people in "9·11" lost their elevators: As the number one developed country, the United States has a large number of skyscrapers, and the total number of elevators is close to 1 million. According to statistics, the rate of elevator accidents in the United States is about one accident per thousand elevators per year. Although the accident rate and fatality rate are not high, elevator accidents in prosperous cities such as New York are also sensational. In 2011, an elevator in Manhattan, New York, suddenly rose ahead of the door and directly killed a woman between the outer door frame and the elevator floor. In the "9.11" incident, about two hundred people died in the elevator.


Management measures: a large number of accidents


The US federal government does not have a unified elevator safety supervision regulations, and the safety management of elevators mainly depends on the laws and regulations of each state. In many states, the safety management of elevators is managed by the legislature and authorized by the occupational safety management department. In large cities such as New York, it is the responsibility of the building management department. In other places, the government departments directly supervise and manage, and are equipped with specialized official elevator technicians.


Daily safety supervision and management, the differences between the states are relatively large. Some states require elevator companies to regularly check the safety of reports, while others encourage independent inspection agencies or certification inspectors to complete. Also, simply hand it over to the insurance company and let their technical team do it. Elevator safety is directly related to the profit and loss of the insurance company, and the inspection of the insurance company will naturally be meticulous.


In addition to the inspections prescribed by the government itself, the owners are also required to assume the responsibility of regular inspections. It is not necessarily the technical team that the owner hires. You can hire a team yourself or use a government technical team, but this is also a fee.


The states also stipulate inspection cycles. For example, the New York State passenger elevator is inspected every three months; New York City checks five times in two years, three of which are responsible for the government and two owners pay. There are also some states that are more lenient and loose to the point where there is no prescribed inspection, just try to fight once a year. Many regional laws also require the establishment of an elevator coordination committee, which is composed of owners, manufacturers, insurance companies, and representatives of the elderly to coordinate interventions on elevator safety issues. American social groups often organize training and drills for the safe use of elevators, especially for minors and the elderly.


In the event of an accident, the compensation of the responsible party is amazing. In 2002, a little girl suddenly ran into the elevator in the mall without the mother's notice, causing three fingers to be pinched off. According to the investigation by the court, although the elevator safety check of the mall has been passed, it has been used for 20 years. Therefore, it was awarded “more than 15 million US dollars” for the “super-year use”.


2. Japan


The earthquake in Tokyo was trapped in the elevator: More than 10,000 people were trapped in the elevator during the Tokyo earthquake that occurred in March 2011; in November 2012, a woman was accidentally killed while riding the Schindler elevator.

Management measures: the government allocated funds to transform the old elevator


The Japanese have always been more serious in their work, and they also adhere to the principle of "soft and hard" in elevator safety.


On the hardware side, the Japanese government requires all major elevator manufacturers to strictly control the quality. At the same time, manufacturers are encouraged to develop safer elevator designs. Since Japan is a country with many earthquakes, since 2009, the Building Standards Regulations require that newly installed elevators be equipped with safety anti-seismic equipment. The equipment ensures that the elevator automatically stops at the nearest floor after the earthquake is sensed. In this way, the elevator accident in the earthquake is greatly reduced. However, a large number of old elevators installed before were not equipped with anti-seismic facilities.


After the Tokyo earthquake in 2011, the Japanese government announced the start of rectification of old elevators. Since there are as many as 700,000 old elevators and the buildings are old, it is extremely expensive to install seismic facilities on them. To this end, the government allocated special projects to cover one-third of these costs in order to facilitate the early completion of security reforms. On the software side, the Japanese government takes the accident seriously.


In November 2012, after a woman was killed in an accident on the Schindler elevator, the Japanese government inspected more than 5,500 Schindler elevators nationwide. The government asked the owners to install safety facilities on more than 500 elevators of the same model and submit a modification plan. Otherwise, the use of this type of elevator will be prohibited.

3. United Kingdom


 The old-fashioned elevator burned 31 people: the UK has more than 200,000 elevators. Of the world's elevator-related accidents, the most serious ones have occurred in the UK. In 1987, at the King's Cross Street subway station in London, an old-fashioned elevator caught fire and spread to the station, killing 31 people. This is a "master" elevator with more than 40 years of history. It was built before the "World War II" and its steps and side walls are made of wood. According to the investigation, the fire was caused by a passenger throwing cigarette butts.


Management measures: at least once every 6 months


As one of the earliest countries in the standardization work, the United Kingdom has relatively sound regulations on elevator safety. British standards include the mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturing requirements for elevators, the construction requirements of buildings, and the inspection requirements for elevators. The UK requires that the passenger elevator be inspected at least once every six months and that the freight elevator be inspected at least once every 12 months. The inspector shall report in writing the first time any defects found to be dangerous, and if the risk of personal injury is involved, it shall be reported to the law enforcement agency immediately. Because of the characteristics of the British Ocean Law Department, these standards have the same legal status as the regulations once they are cited by the regulations. The British, who are famous for their old-fashioned, naturally do not dare to neglect these standards.


4. Korea


Elevator accidents have increased year by year: According to statistics from South Korea, the number of elevator accidents in Korea has increased year by year. In 2006, the number of elevator accidents nationwide was 90 times, and it increased to 153 times in 2008. Just last August, the escalator of a large subway station in Seoul suddenly reversed, causing more than 10 injuries.


Management measures: Elimination of old elevators for new elevators


In order to reduce the occurrence of accidents, South Korea has introduced special laws. The Ministry of Administrative Security of the Republic of Korea has established a subordinate elevator safety management office, which is responsible for supervising the production, installation and maintenance management of elevators and accident investigation. South Korea will carry out regular maintenance inspections of elevators, and old elevators will be eliminated after a certain number of years. After 15 years of use in the elevators of the general apartment community, the entire community was replaced with new elevators with better performance.


As for the compensation for elevator accidents, this is not easy to cash in Korea, because the accident caused by the passengers of the ladder is more than 55%, and in some not too big accidents, it is difficult to get compensation if the passengers are not injured. . Only after the investigation finds that it is indeed the cause of manufacturing, installation or maintenance, it is possible to obtain compensation from the relevant unit. Fortunately, most Koreans attach great importance to joining private insurance, so they can get compensation from insurance companies.

5. France


The low accident rate depends on the number of people on the road: the romantic French life is slow, and the proportion of elevators is low. There are about 30,000 elevators in the country, and the average number of accidents per year is single digit.


Management measures:


The law provides for a comprehensive overhaul every 5 years.


The "Elevator Safety Law" promulgated by France in 2003 further reduced the number of people killed in the accident. The law stipulates that the elevator must be fully overhauled every five years from the year after the house is completed and used. However, according to investigations by relevant departments, this law has been widely despised throughout the country: more than half of the elevators did not follow this rule. Al Wei, chairman of the French Association of Elevator Safety Inspection Experts, said that the reason for not complying with the law is simple: too expensive. The cost of an elevator is approximately 300 Euros. For many owners' committees, the money spent on this five-year period is really painful, and it is simply taking risks and not breaking the law. However, if there is a human accident, do you know that the money saved each year can alleviate some grief?


This article tags: elevator elevator safety elevator failure elevator maintenance elevator supervision