The Georgia State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioners office has reported that more than one-third of the 117 passenger and freight elevators inside Trinity, Doctors and University hospitals and on the Georgia Regents Health System Campus had at least one violation last year. According to a news report, the list of violations included faulty back-up battery systems, defective hardware (that prevented doors from closing), broken alarms, broken door-open buttons, and overdue weight and fire-extinguisher tests. Most of these issues were corrected soon after they were identified, according to officials from the facilities.
It was found that all the elevators had passed inspection services, but out of the total 43 units with violations, more than half (that is, 25) suffered multiple violations, with up to 24 cars having issues such as missing emergency-rescue, fire-service and machine-room keys. Cards and keys are important for accessing malfunctioning equipment and evacuating or rescuing passengers who might get trapped inside the lift. Moreover, in 13 lifts, the inspection certificates and fire-safety instruction cards were expired, unreadable or not visible to the public.
Elevator inspections help identify violations. In this case, University Hospital had the most discrepancies, with 19 out of their 34 accessibility devices being charged:
- Both the Women’s Center parking deck and hospital’s outpatient wing had two elevators each with backup battery systems that had no power or very little.
- Four lobby elevators had several electrical carbon brushes that were badly worn and causing damage to the drive unit.
The Georgia Regents Health System Campus has a total of 61 elevators and a lowest rate of machines with a violation of just 11 percent.
- The three lobby lifts at Georgia Regents University’s Cancer Treatment Center (GRU) were found with machine room-keys that did not fit
- one-parking garage lift without a key to its hoistway and overdue stress on two small freight lifts
With a total of 11 elevators, the Doctors Hospital reported the highest rate of violations of 10 (about 90 percent). These included a broken alarm button and hoistway and mechanical-room keys missing from seven staff and patient devices
At Trinity hospitals, the inspection officials found seven devices with broken alarm buttons, dirty pits, non-working phone, and extremely rusty door rollers and rails.
According to state rules, if an elevator passes with violations, the property owner has about six months time (until the semi-annual inspection) to correct these issues. A 30-day extension can be granted by inspectors, if the owner fails to correct the particular issues within the stipulated time. The last option is the issue a $250 fine per device and shutting down a lift.
This report highlights the importance of elevator maintenance services. Elevators, like most mechanical devices, suffer wear and tear due to prolonged use. In a busy hospital set-up, this can prove disastrous if not attended to in a timely manner. Regular and periodic maintenance and servicing is necessary to reduce downtime and keep the system in excellent working condition. This will also help extend the life of the device.