When you choose a career, mortality rates aren’t typically one of the factors that you need to consider, but working in the lift installation and maintenance industry can be surprisingly hazardous.
Great Emphasis on Public Safety
All passenger lifts in the UK must be made to the same standards and are governed by ‘the European Lifts Directive’, which states that passenger lifts must be examined and tested every six months by a competent person. Residential or domestic lifts do not fall under the same legislation as lifts in public use and so must be maintained at the owner’s discretion.
Lift engineers must always wear personal protective equipment, such as a helmet, protective clothing and a safety harness, whenever they are working. But apart from the obvious hazards that come with working at heights, a lift engineers job also places great emphasis on public safety by ensuring that they do a proper job of maintaining many types of lifts for public use. A lift engineers duties will usually include general maintenance work on the lifts such as replacing parts, making adjustments and doing minor repairs.
The Risks Faced by Lift Engineers
The Lift and Escalator Industry Association, the trade association and advisory body for the lift and escalator industry, estimates there are approximately a quarter of a million passenger and goods lifts in the UK, and a lift located in a busy office block, for example, will complete hundreds of journeys in one day. The toll that this heavy use will have on the lift can cause parts to fail, with the consequences ranging from simple inconvenience to fatal. This means that lift engineers run the risk of legal action being taken against them every day, for any cases in which they may be liable for an injury to a third person or damage to a property as a result of their job.
Passenger Lifts and Injury
The most common type of injury that is suffered by people when travelling in a lift is getting their fingers trapped in the doorway, after which the doors will usually automatically open again because they are programmed to do that when your fingers, or any other objects, cause an obstruction. Other minor lift injuries include small bumps and knocks with most people brushing it off and continuing along with their day.
More serious injuries might usually occur if something goes wrong with either the electrical system or safety mechanism of the lift, although these types of accidents are extremely rare. For instance, a lift technician may have given a passenger lift the all clear to resume service but not tightened a belt correctly or performed the proper maintenance checks resulting in the lift plummeting to the bottom of the shaft.
Why Insurance for Lift Engineers is Important
Having public liability insurance should be the first thing considered by anyone working in the lift installation and maintenance trade. This type of protection provides cover against accidents against third-parties that lift engineers could be liable for. Common types of claims might include accidentally breaking a client’s window or similar whilst installing a lift at the property, or a stairlift coming away from the wall after installation or even a member of the public becoming injured after tripping over the technician’s tools.
Public liability insurance for lift engineers is not compulsory but essential to ensure the future of your business. If you are unprotected by insurance, a situation could occur which in turn could lead to financial difficulties for you and your business. Ashburnham Insurance can provide full cover public liability insurance for lift engineers, ranging from chair and stair lift maintenance technicians up to professional elevator installations in commercial buildings.