At Northern Elevators, we understand the paramount importance of regular inspections for passenger lifts. As a leading elevator maintenance company in the UK, our primary goal is to ensure the safety and reliability of all lift systems under our care. Regular inspections not only help identify potential issues before they escalate but also play a crucial role in complying with legal requirements and regulations.

Passenger lifts are subjected to constant use, carrying people up and down multiple floors throughout the day. This continuous operation puts significant stress on the lift components, making regular inspections essential. By conducting thorough and systematic inspections, we can detect any signs of wear and tear, malfunctioning parts, or potential safety hazards that may compromise passenger safety.

In this article, we will be assessing how often you should be inspecting your passenger lifts and the common issues that arise when your passenger lifts are not inspected regularly. 



Legal requirements for passenger lift inspections

The UK has specific legal requirements in place to ensure the safety of passenger lifts. 

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines, all passenger lifts must undergo regular inspections by competent lift engineers. These inspections are mandated by the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).

Under these regulations, passenger lifts should be inspected at regular intervals by a competent person to ensure their safe operation. The frequency of these inspections is determined by various factors, including the type of lift, its usage, and the environment in which it operates. By adhering to these legal requirements, building owners and managers can fulfil their duty of care towards the occupants and visitors of their premises.


Factors that determine the frequency of inspections

Several factors come into play when determining the frequency of passenger lift inspections. These factors include the type of lift, its age, usage patterns, and the specific environment in which it operates.

  • Type & usage pattern: Lifts in high-traffic areas, such as shopping malls or office buildings, may require more frequent inspections compared to those in low-traffic residential buildings.
  • Age: Additionally, the age of the lift is an important consideration. Older lifts may require more frequent inspections due to the wear and tear associated with ageing components. 
  • Environments: Lifts installed in harsher environments, such as coastal areas with exposure to saltwater, may also need more frequent inspections to prevent corrosion and damage to vital components.

To determine the appropriate frequency of inspections, it is crucial to consult with a qualified lift engineer who can assess the specific requirements of the lift system in question. We will consider all relevant factors to develop a tailored inspection schedule that ensures the safety and reliability of the passenger lift.


Different types of inspections for passenger lifts

Passenger lift inspections encompass various types of assessments, each serving a specific purpose in maintaining safety and performance. 

These inspections include:

  1. Routine Inspections: Routine inspections are the most common type and are carried out at regular intervals, typically every six months. During these inspections, lift engineers thoroughly examine the lift system, including its mechanical and electrical components, safety features, and control systems.
  2. Thorough Examinations: Thorough examinations are more comprehensive and are typically conducted every twelve months. These examinations involve a detailed assessment of the lift system’s safety-critical components, such as ropes, pulleys, brakes, and emergency systems.
  3. Statutory Inspections: Statutory inspections are carried out by an independent third-party inspection body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). These inspections are required for lifts that fall under the scope of LOLER and PUWER regulations. 


Common issues and risks in passenger lifts

Passenger lifts, like any mechanical system, are prone to certain issues and risks that can compromise their safety and reliability. 

Some of the common issues include:

  1. Wear and Tear: Over time, the constant use of lifts leads to wear and tear of various components, such as ropes, pulleys, and bearings. Regular inspections help identify signs of deterioration and allow for timely maintenance or replacement.
  2. Electrical Problems: Faulty electrical systems in lifts can pose significant risks. Inspections help identify any electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or malfunctioning control panels, ensuring the safe operation of the lift.
  3. Safety Features: Lifts are equipped with various safety features, including emergency stop buttons, safety brakes, and overload protection. Regular inspections ensure that these safety features are in proper working condition, providing a safe environment for passengers.
  4. Environmental Factors: Lifts installed in harsh environments, such as humid or corrosive conditions, are susceptible to accelerated wear and tear. Inspections help identify and mitigate any environmental factors that may impact the lift’s performance and safety.


Signs that indicate the need for immediate inspection

While regular inspections are essential, there are certain signs that indicate the need for immediate inspection. These signs should never be ignored, as they may indicate potential safety risks. 

Some of the signs that require immediate attention include:

  1. Unusual Noises: If a lift starts producing unusual noises, such as grinding, scraping, or rattling sounds, it may indicate a mechanical issue that requires inspection and maintenance.
  2. Jerky Movements: Any sudden jerks or erratic movements of the lift should be taken seriously as they can pose a risk to passengers. Immediate inspection is necessary to identify the cause and rectify the problem.
  3. Door Malfunction: Lift doors that do not open or close properly pose a significant safety risk. If passengers experience difficulties with the lift doors, it is crucial to conduct an inspection to ensure their proper functioning.
  4. Vibration or Shaking: Excessive vibration or shaking during lift operation can be an indication of underlying mechanical issues. Such signs should be addressed promptly to prevent any potential accidents.
  5. Inconsistent Levelling:If a lift consistently fails to level correctly with the floor, it may indicate a problem with the levelling sensors or other mechanical components that require inspection and maintenance.


Benefits of regular lift inspections

Regular lift inspections offer numerous benefits, both in terms of safety and reliability. 

Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Ensuring Safety: The primary benefit of regular lift inspections is the assurance of passenger safety. Inspections help identify and rectify any potential safety hazards, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.
  2. Compliance with Regulations: Regular inspections ensure compliance with legal requirements and regulations, such as LOLER and PUWER. By adhering to these regulations, building owners can avoid penalties and demonstrate their commitment to safety.
  3. Extended Lifespan: Regular inspections and preventive maintenance help identify and address issues early on, prolonging the lifespan of the lift system. This reduces the risk of costly breakdowns and ensures the longevity of the investment.
  4. Improved Performance: Inspections help maintain the optimal performance of the lift system. By addressing any mechanical or electrical issues promptly, lifts operate more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and enhancing overall performance.
  5. Peace of Mind: Regular inspections provide peace of mind to building owners, managers, and lift users. Knowing that the lift system is regularly inspected and maintained instil confidence in its reliability and safety.


How to find a reliable lift inspection service

Finding a reliable lift inspection service is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of passenger lifts. 

When searching for a service provider, consider the following factors:

  1. Experience and Expertise: Look for a company with extensive experience in lift inspections and maintenance. Check their track record, certifications, and industry affiliations to ensure their expertise.
  2. Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that the service provider complies with all relevant regulations and has a thorough understanding of the legal requirements for lift inspections.
  3. Comprehensive Inspection Services: Choose a company that offers a comprehensive range of inspection services, including routine inspections, thorough examinations, and statutory inspections.
  4. Qualified Engineers: Verify that the service provider employs qualified and competent lift engineers who have the necessary expertise to conduct inspections and address any issues identified.
  5. Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the quality of service provided by the company. Positive feedback and satisfied clients are indicative of reliable and professional service.


Ensuring safety and reliability through regular lift inspections

Regular inspections are vital for ensuring the safety and reliability of passenger lifts. By complying with legal requirements, conducting thorough assessments, and addressing any potential issues promptly, we can create a safe environment for lift users. 

Regular inspections not only minimise the risk of accidents but also extend the lifespan of the lift system and enhance its performance.


At Northern Elevators, we take pride in our expertise and commitment to providing reliable lift inspection services in the UK. If you are looking for passenger lift maintenance within the UK, visit our website today to find out more.