SafeWork SA recently issued a safety warning to businesses that supply, install and maintain lifts following a recent incident in which a lift passenger suffered a serious injury.
SafeWork SA inspectors attended the elevator incident after a lift passenger sustained serious facial injuries. The lift stopped during a power outage and the passenger manually opened the doors.
When power was restored, the lift began moving again while the passenger was still in the open doorway, resulting in facial injuries.
The investigation into the incident found that a small piece of wire had been placed across the car door switch terminals in the controller. The short removed the monitoring of the car door position, allowing the lift to operate with the car doors partially or fully open, creating an unsafe condition.
SafeWork SA said businesses that supply, install and maintain lifts, including lift owners, need to be aware of the serious risk to the health and safety of a person or worker if any part of the safety circuit is not functioning correctly.
Shorting out any part of the safety circuit should only be performed by a competent person who has complete control of the lift and only while strict risk control measures are in place. Before leaving the site, technicians must verify that all shorting wires used during the task have been removed.
SafeWork SA also said a lift must never be placed back in normal service with any short circuit to the safety control system still connected, and the regulator recommended a number of safety solutions: