The manufacture and installation of lift systems is highly regulated in the UK to ensure safety measures are met and ongoing services are adhered to. Any company that installs, manufactures or imports lifts must comply with the Lifts Regulations 1997, as amended by the UK Supply of Machinery Regulations 2008.
These regulations are in place to oversee the safety of any lift system that travels faster than 0.15 metres per second. Designs must meet the safety requirements, as well as their construction and installation; they must satisfy appropriate conformity assessment procedures, carry CE marking and be accompanied by a European Community Declaration of Conformity.
The key legal responsibilities of all lift companies are as followed:
- Safety component manufacturer and lift installer are obliged to assess likely hazards and take these into account during design and construction
- The carrier must be built and designed to offer sufficient space and strength for the maximum number of people and the installer’s rated load. If the lift is used to transport people, then the car must be designed and constructed so that it doesn’t impede access by people with disabilities and allow adjustments to facilitate the use of the lift. Car falling risk must be eliminated with car suspension and/or support.
- Lifts must be designed, constructed and installed to prevent normal starting if the load is exceeded. They must also come equipped with limitation devices. Lifts that move over a certain speed must be equipped with speed-monitoring and speed-limiting devices
- All passenger lifts must have their own individual lift machinery. Installers must ensure it is not accessible except for maintenance and in emergencies.
- The controls must be designed for those with disabilities and located to aid convenient use. The function of the controls must be clearly indicated.
- Each carrier must bear an easily visible plate clearly showing the rated load in kilograms and the maximum number of passengers allowed. If the lift is designed to allow trapped passengers to escape, instructions should be made clear and concise within the car.
- Safety components must be accompanied with an instruction manual, written in an official language of the member state of the lift installer or other acceptable EC language.
- All lifts and safety components covered by the Regulations should bear CE markings and be accompanied by an EC Declaration of conformity.
It is important for business owners that utilise lift systems to understand what the responsibilities are for their lift company for them to understand their rights.