Lifts can be extremely hazardous pieces of equipment, so ensuring that they are operated as safely as possible is an extremely important issue.
The Australian standards for lift maintenance are governed by a number of acts, regulations, codes of practice and guidance documents relating to systematic and uniform procedures for maintaining elevators in the country.
The objective of these standards is to ensure that all operators comply with the Work Health & Safety Act (WHS Act) and uphold their responsibility to maintaining high standards of health and safety in the workplace.
The official Acts and Code of Practices consist of regulations applicable to lift manufacturers, service providers, business owners and the general public. However, this blog is intended to highlight the responsibilities of a person in charge of a business or undertaking (in other words a business owner), and the relevant rules and standards they must be aware of.
The term ‘person in charge of a business or undertaking’ (PCBU), according to the WHS Act, refers to any type of working arrangement such as organisations, partnerships, sole traders or small enterprises. In this blog we use the term PCBU and business owner interchangeably.
As stated in the WHS Act, PCBU has the responsibility to ensure that workers and other people are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and at the workplace.
So how is this relevant to a business owner’s role in complying with the Australian standards for lift maintenance?
If there are lifts being utilized in the workplace, a PCBU is the person in charge of ensuring that they do not present a health and safety risk to the people using them.
The steps to ensuring that lifts are safe for use are a meticulous process that involves several parties. These include:
- Risk Management Plan and Life Cycle
- Installation, Alteration, Modernisation, Repair and Maintenance
- Licensing and Plant Registration
- Hazard and Risk Analysis
- Energy and Working on Electrical Equipment
- Use of Lifts in an Emergency and Safe Access to Lift Pits
Throughout the process, there are specific duties and responsibilities that must be fulfilled by all parties involved.
Each lift should be covered with a Risk Management Plan. This plan requires a current Hazard and Risk Analysis to be carried out to identify any potential hazards and generate a solution on how to diminish these risks.
This solution must include specific details of the extent to which risk can be reduced.
The life cycle of the lift must also be taken into consideration, hence the plan should cover matters that will arise in the future; maintenance, alteration, repair, modernisation.
The entire plan must be covered with a comprehensive budget for the necessary implementations and a provision of funds to cover future works.
For a PCBU, the duties are as follows:
- Implement a Risk Management Plan
- Ensure that risk levels are minimal and under control throughout all processed carried out during the life cycle of the lift
- Ensure that lifts are maintained in accordance with the plan
- Ensure lifts are safe to operate
- Ensure that lifts are registered with respective authorities
- Ensure the workplace is safe
- Ensure the means of entering and exiting the workplace are safe
- Keep records of maintenance activities
It is essential for the business owner to be aware of the lift condition at all times, and it is the duty of the service provider to keep the owner informed.
There are also a range of technical processes that require certifications and statements to declare that the lift is safe to operate, and it is necessary for the business owner to ensure that all these processes are properly carried out.
The PCBU should also determine a schedule or system to ensure that the service provider is regularly updating them with information regarding the condition of the lift.
The Risk Management Plan covers all the processes a lift undergoes throughout its lifecycle, and business owners have a duty of due diligence to ensure the rules and regulations pertaining to all these processes are adhered to.
If they fail to do so they place themselves at extreme risk of negative financial and legal consequences if someone is injured or killed as a result of their negligence.
This is an overview of the duties outlined in the WHS Act meant to educate business owners on the importance of their role in lift maintenance.
The information we’ve provided here is intended to educated business owners of their responsibilities and highlight the importance of proper lift maintenance. For more detailed guidelines we highly recommend that you consult your local state/territory regulations.
Choosing Octagon Lifts as your maintenance service provider guarantees that all of the Australian standards for lift maintenance we detailed above are met.
We offer customised maintenance service packages to keep your equipment in peak operating condition and your business protected from legal and financial risks. Get in touch with us today to find out more.