LIFTLINE LIMITED - Lift Consultancy Services LIFTLINE LIMITED - The Lifts Regulations 1997


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EN81 - In Practice

The new standards are not significantly different from the old standards they replace. However these small changes affect not only the lift equipment that must be supplied but affect works which may be undertaken by other contractors.

For instance, whereas shaft lighting has always been a requirement in the UK, providing fittings were not more than 7.0m apart, there was little further restriction. Now a minimum light intensity throughout the shaft has been specified.

Although all differences between the old and new standards are beyond the scope of these pages, some of the major or significant alterations are discussed.

Both parts 1 and 2 recognise the possibility of open lift shafts for scenic lifts etc. and specific requirements are introduced. As mentioned above, minimum lighting intensity levels of not only the lift shaft but also the machine and pulley rooms are incorporated. The standards recognise the use of glass in lift cars, doors and lift shafts, and make specific safety provisions.

The specific requirements to satisfy the Regulations are also included. These basically include consideration of disabled persons during design, the provision of a lift car communication device, an overload device within the lift car, devices to prevent uncontrolled upward movement and the protection of automatic car and landing doors to prevent the risk of crushing.

One matter of some dispute relates to the Regulation that the lift shall automatically and safely shut down after releasing passengers if the temperature of the machine room should exceed its designed maximum. This particular requirement, although specified in the Regulations, would appear to be an error. Both the Official Journal and EN81 refer to over temperature of the machine or hydraulic system and not the machine room itself.

The provision of a Technical Dossier with the lift was included in the old standard. However this has been widened to incorporate the additional documentation for the lift and its safety components as required by The Regulations.

A number of Annexes have been added which cover a wide range of topics, including tests before going into service or following an accident or modification, proof or guide rails, traction evaluation, safety factors of ropes and calculations of hydraulic cylinders, pipes and fittings.

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