2021-05-07

Safety accidents of old elevators attract attention. Is there a retirement age for elevators?

By yqqlm yqqlm

Chinanews.com client, Beijing, May 8th (Peng Ningling) Recently, the news of #13-year-old boy elevator failure self-help failure fell death# swept the screen and caused people to discuss elevator safety.

In a city full of tall buildings, elevators have become an indispensable setting in people’s lives. However, the frequent “elevator-eating” incidents in the newspapers have also caused public opinion to discuss the responsibility of elevator safety supervision.

Safety accidents of old elevators attract attention. Is there a retirement age for elevators?

13-year-old boy slams the door Self-rescue from the crash

Who is responsible for the frequent occurrence of elevator “cannibalism” incidents?

Recently, a 13-year-old boy fell to his death in the process of self-rescue when an elevator malfunctioned in a community in Fuzhou, Fujian.

According to media reports, surveillance video showed that the boy pressed the button on the second floor, but the elevator rose to between the 6th and 7th floors. The child slapped the elevator doors and pressed the “emergency call” button to ask for help but received no response. The boy rescued himself in the elevator and used a long-handled umbrella to pry open the car door and the 6th floor elevator door. At about 18:34, the boy got out of the car from a space less than half a meter high, and then an accident occurred.

In recent years, there have been frequent elevator safety incidents, and disputes about “cannibal elevators” have also attracted public opinion. According to the “Notice on the Safety Status of Special Equipment in the Country in 2020” issued by the General Administration of Market Supervision in March this year, as of the end of 2020, the number of elevators nationwide reached 7,865,500, and there were 25 elevator accidents and 19 deaths throughout the year.

The reasons for these accidents include illegal operations or improper operation, equipment defects or safety components failure or protective device failure, improper emergency rescue (self-rescue), improper safety management and maintenance, etc.

In addition to the elevator accident itself, there are more dispute cases caused by elevator safety. Chinanews.com has searched “elevators”, “accidents” and “property” through the Judgment Documents Network. In 2021 alone, more than 300 documents have appeared.

Safety accidents of old elevators attract attention. Is there a retirement age for elevators?(1)

Data map. Photo by Chinanews reporter Li Jun

Observe the disputes caused by these elevator accidents. In many cases, the failure of the elevator alarm button has a certain impact on the casualties of the trapped people. Then, why does the alarm button that can save lives at critical moments frequently fail? Who will bear the responsibility for supervision?

“Elevator emergency lighting and emergency rescue buttons are one of the key points of elevator annual inspection, and must be connected under any circumstances.” Qiao Jian, the person in charge of an elevator installation and maintenance company in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, told Zhongxin On the Internet, if the help button cannot be connected in time, it is not in compliance with the regulations.

Qiao Jian said that in accordance with relevant national regulations, the quality inspection of elevators is relatively comprehensive, including all safety components of the elevator (speed governor, safety gear, buffer, upper and lower limit devices, safety circuits, etc.), In terms of load-bearing load test, emergency lighting, five-party call, etc., the elevator can only obtain the operating permit after all the tests are passed.

Qiao Jian introduced that in daily life, the property sector generally contracted elevator maintenance work to a professionally qualified elevator company. According to national regulations, it is required to have two inspections a month. “Large companies will have strict requirements for maintenance work, but some small and irregular companies may have inadequate maintenance, leading to hidden dangers in the elevator use process.”

Beijing Dexiang Law Firm Director, Beijing An Xiang, deputy director of the Civil Law Committee of the Municipal Lawyers Association, said that according to the relevant provisions of the Civil Code, the property company shall assume the management and maintenance obligations of the elevator in the building in accordance with the agreement between the law and the owner. In the event that the elevator fails, it will eventually lead to casualties. In China, the property company needs to bear the liability for compensation.

An Xiang said that if the elevator itself has quality problems or design defects, residents can sue the property company and elevator company, or directly sue the property company, and then the property company can claim compensation from the elevator company.

Safety accidents of old elevators attract attention. Is there a retirement age for elevators?(2)

How many elevators are in overage service ?

The safety supervision of old elevators attracts attention

From the point of view of legal responsibilities after engagement, the accountability of elevator safety incidents does not seem to be complicated. But behind the frequent elevator safety incidents, why are the supervisory responsibilities frequently absent?

There are media reports that in the crash of a 13-year-old boy, the community security said that the elevator was put into use in 2005 and has been in use for many years and is seriously aging.

“Under normal circumstances, when the elevator is out of service, the elevator car door cannot be opened from the inside with an umbrella.” Qiao Jian said that if the elevator can be opened from the inside in the event, perhaps the elevator model is too large. Old, no door opening restriction device is installed.

The old elevator is the place where many elevator shock incidents occur in reality. In late June 2019, an old elevator in Zhongyi Hot Spring Building, Qindu District, Xianyang, Shaanxi, broke down and stopped between the 2nd and 3rd floors. An old man was stuck in his leg and died. Earlier, in a 25-year-old elevator in Fengtai District, Beijing, a woman stepped into the elevator with one leg and the elevator suddenly rose, causing her left leg to be pinched off.

It is worth mentioning that, in our country, there is currently no regulation on the service life of the elevator as a whole.

In April 2019, in the public message section on the official website of the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Special Equipment Safety Supervision Bureau responded to the question “Does the country have regulations or specification requirements for elevator service life?” Elevators more than 15 years old are called old elevators, which is a term in the industry. At present, there is no provision for the overall scrapped service life of elevators in my country.

Previous public information showed that in 2001, Beijing had issued the “Notice on Strengthening Beijing Residential Elevator Scrap Management”, basically setting the elevator scrapping period to 15 years. At that time, the “Notice” was even considered by the industry to be the only domestic document that clearly stipulated the elevator scrapping period.

In February 2016, my country’s first national standard for the scrapping of major elevator components was implemented. The scrapping of old elevators is changing from a “one size fits all” use time to a specific analysis.

In the view of Qiao Jian, who has been engaged in the elevator industry for many years, the old and new standards of 15 years are mainly due to the aging of electronic and mechanical components, or the production standards are inconsistent with the current national standards. In China, age is not the only criterion for testing elevator quality.

In Qiao Jian’s company, about 1,100 elevators are maintained, of which about 10% are elevators over 15 years old.

“Some elevators that have been used for more than 20 years are still in good condition, and high-quality maintenance plays an important role.” Qiao Jian said.

Qiao Jian believes that failure of elevator equipment is inevitable. Except for some extreme events, many casualties occur because of the residents’ lack of knowledge about elevator safety.

“In reality, elevators are similar to slides and falling elevators, and most of them are the performance of elevator reset operation. It is important to understand relevant knowledge and deal with emergencies correctly.” Qiao Jian said.

Safety accidents of old elevators attract attention. Is there a retirement age for elevators?(3)

Beijing No. 1 Community Elevator Safety tips. Photo by Peng Ningling

“Blind self-help is equal to suicide”

What is the correct way to open an elevator in distress?

Elevator safety concerns the lives and health of residents, but elevator failures cannot be cut off. How can tragedies be prevented?

From a legal point of view, An Xiang said that safety production departments should increase supervision. “Not only should regular inspections be carried out, but also daily management and maintenance should be strengthened. At the same time, the competent department of the property company is also obliged to urge the property company to perform its duties in accordance with the law.”

Experts said that they are concerned about possible elevator failures. , The property company should take prompt measures. For example, how to deal with failures? Is it clearly stated that a certain action should be taken, or a certain action should not be taken?

“If the property management company has detailed safety reminders in obvious locations in or around the elevator, and also introduced the solutions for unexpected situations, the responsibility can be reduced accordingly.” An Xiang said.

Qiao Jian believes that the popularization of knowledge about elevator safety in advance needs to be strengthened. “In daily life, if the elevator is out of service or trapped in the car, the emergency rescue button inside the elevator should be used as soon as possible to call for help through the five-way communication device.”

“Blind self-help It’s almost tantamount to suicide.” Qiao Jian said that the elevator is not a sealed space, and the air circulation is normal, so you don’t need to worry about the risk of suffocation. Once the phone is connected, you should promptly report the location of the trapped elevator and wait calmly for rescue.

Qiao Jian called for strengthening the promotion of elevator safety, “For example, property companies, relevant government departments, and elevator companies can issue brochures on elevator first aid knowledge, play videos, or use pictures in elevators to remind them. Blindly save yourself and reduce the occurrence of tragedies.” (End)