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December 1, 2014 -
A starting point for any elevator maintenance program is the safety code that's used, at times with modifications, by jurisdictions across the country. This is ASME's Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.
Section 188.8.131.52.1 of the code states that "a written Maintenance Control Program shall be in place to maintain the equipment." The maintenance program has to include examinations, maintenance, and tests of equipment at scheduled intervals. These activities are to be based on equipment age, condition, and accumulated wear, among other factors.
While the code requires a written maintenance program, some contractors keep the documents at their own offices. Of course, that can make it difficult for the facility manager to review and access the information, such as checklists showing which tasks the contractor has completed on each visit.
To minimize the risk of this occurring, the contract between the building owner and elevator contractor should require the maintenance and repair records to remain in the machine room or another convenient location within the facility, says Joseph Donnelly, consultant with Donnelly & Associates. "Make sure this gets in the contract and hold them to it."
As an extra precaution, the building owner should keep its own records, says Robert Cuzzi, executive vice president and principal with the consulting firm Van Deusen & Associates.
Another area to check: Some contracts try to identify all the equipment the contractor will examine and adjust. The problem with this approach? "It's a laundry list and may leave something out" that’s not readily apparent, says Dick Gregory, a consultant with Vertex Elevator.
Gregory recommends instead a contract that says the maintenance company will be responsible for all equipment associated with the elevator, and then also lists individual pieces of equipment, such as the door to the maintenance room, that it won't maintain. That makes it less likely that the contract will omit a piece of equipment the facility manager assumes is covered.