How often should a passenger lift be serviced?

Regularly servicing your passenger lift is vital for keeping it in tip top condition, and here at Premier Lift Group, we offer maintenance and support on every commercial and domestic lift we design and install. We provide our customers with a range of aftercare packages, ensuring our expert engineers are always on hand when you need them.

Lift maintenance is undoubtedly important, yet many owners are unsure how regularly this should occur. Read on to find out how often a passenger lift should be serviced, the relevant regulations, and what exactly the process involves.

Two passenger lifts in a corporate building.

Why is lift servicing important?

Lifts are often a key part of a property, as they are essential for accessibility, making it possible for people to live and work in multi-storey buildings, and can help people reach their destinations more quickly. If your elevators are slow, broken or poorly-maintained, it will be easily noticed by visitors, and in the worst case scenario, a poorly maintained lift could even harm users if it falls or traps people inside. This is why lift servicing is crucial, allowing technicians to identify and fix issues like faulty lights, subpar ride quality and door problems. All in all, properly-serviced elevators are more reliable, faster, and offer a better all-round experience for users.

Having your lift serviced is a legal requirement, as well as ensuring that your lift operates safely and efficiently. Regular maintenance can also keep your costs down in the long term by reducing the chance of unexpected replacements or repairs, and prolonging the lift’s lifespan. Not doing this may lead to you incurring significant losses due to a lack of access or safety, both of which could even prompt people to make costly compensation claims against your business.

How often should a passenger lift be inspected?

Like any machine, lifts have a series of complex moving parts which will require regular maintenance in order to work properly. Exactly how often servicing is needed will depend on the type of lift, how frequently it is used, and the number of floors it serves. For example, low-use elevators will typically only need a couple of service visits a year, while high-use lifts in retail buildings will require more attention.

When thinking about servicing frequency, remember that this is a preventative measure — the more you service your lift, the longer it will last and the lower your running costs will be. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team, who will be happy to answer your questions and recommend the optimal frequency of service.

What are the legal requirements for passenger lift servicing?

As well as the fact that insurance providers typically require proof that a lift is safe before offering cover, there is various legislation to bear in mind:

LOLER

LOLER (which stands for Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) stipulates than anyone who operates lifting equipment must ensure it is:

  • Robust enough for its specific use.
  • Positioned and installed to minimise any risks.
  • Used safely.
  • Subject to ongoing, thorough examination by trained and competent LOLER inspectors, with a certificate issued if no problems are found. The number of annual inspections depends on the type of lift.

PUWER

Passenger lifts that are part of a work environment fall under PUWER (The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) which rules that any risks to employee health and safety must be prevented or controlled. As such, lifts need to be:

  • Appropriate for their intended use.
  • Safe for use.
  • Accompanied by safety measures like signage, markings and warnings.

The Equality Act

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers and service providers must make reasonable adjustments to their property to accommodate the disabled. In order to fulfil these obligations, it is recommended to refer to Approved Document M of the English and Welsh Building Regulations, as this outlines definitive guidelines, such as:

  • Providing audible and visible information so wheelchair users know when the lift has arrived.
  • Ensuring lifts are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and a passenger.
  • Reducing the use of visually and acoustically reflective wall surfaces to prevent discomfort for people with visual and hearing impairments.
  • Installing handrails.
  • Making glass-covered areas identifiable to people with impaired vision.

What gets checked during passenger lift servicing?

During a service visit, an engineer will assess the lift’s safety features, and clean, lubricate and adjust different components. The following things are typically checked:

  • Lights
  • Signs, locks and keys
  • Cables and belts
  • Electrical mechanisms
  • Doors, buttons and controls
  • Shaft structure
  • Emergency backup system
  • Alarms and communication equipment
  • Screws and nuts
  • Lubrication and smooth functioning

Certain lifts will have particular components that need to be examined. For example, hydraulic lifts must have their oil systems tested, while traction lifts tend to have more comprehensive examinations of their belt and chain systems.