Springfield – In an effort to make elevators, escalators and other conveyance devices in Illinois safer, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is working to ensure that people who inspect, install and perform maintenance on such devices are properly trained and have the necessary skills. About 30 people are killed and approximately 17,000 others are injured each year in the United States in incidents involving elevators and escalators.
“Our overriding concern is the safety of people who use elevators, escalators and other conveyances in Illinois,” said State Fire Marshal David Foreman. “Our elevator safety program is working to ensure that everyone who inspects, installs or works on conveyances in Illinois is qualified to do so.”
Conveyance devices covered under the state’s Elevator Safety and Regulation Act include elevators, escalators, moving sidewalks, dumbwaiters, platform lifts, stairway lifts and automated people movers.
Under the law, anyone who installs or works on conveyances in Illinois must obtain a license from OSFM by April 1, 2007. To be licensed, workers must demonstrate the knowledge and skill needed to work with conveyances through a certificate of successful completion of study issued by the National Elevator Industry Educational Program and/or a certificate of completion of an elevator mechanic apprenticeship program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. Once licensed, elevator contractors and maintenance workers must complete at least eight hours of continuing education requirements each year.
Conveyance inspectors must show proof of insurance and a Qualified Elevator Inspector Certificate to be licensed by OSFM.
The law also requires all conveyances to be registered with OSFM. Building owners have until July 1, 2007, to register existing conveyances, while all new conveyances must be registered by the contractor installing the device. Licensed elevator mechanics may service an unregistered conveyance only once after that deadline and must inform the owner that the device must be registered before it can be serviced again.
Building owners are also required to report any accident involving a conveyance that causes personal injury or property damage in excess of $1,000. The accident report must be submitted to OSFM by close of business the next business day following the accident.
Conveyances in residential structures are exempted from requirements of the law. In addition, municipalities with more than 500,000 residents that administer their own elevator safety programs are also exempted from the state law.
The Illinois Elevator Safety and Regulation Act was signed into law by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in 2003. To implement the law, a 13-member Elevator Safety Review Board was created and tasked with developing rules for testing, continuing education, fees, applications and other aspects of the state’s elevator safety program. Public hearings were held in Springfield and Chicago to gather input on proposed rules from the public and the elevator industry. Rules governing the program were developed through this process, and OSFM’s Elevator Safety Division administers the program.
License and registration applications, along with additional information about the law, are available on the OSFM website at www.state.il.us/osfm/Elevator. Questions regarding the program may be directed to the OSFM Division of Elevator Safety at 217-785-0969.