State of Safety: Elevating Devices
We oversee the safety of elevators, escalators, moving walkways, dumbwaiters, lifts, and construction hoists in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Elevating Devices Safety Regulation.
KEB F5 Variable Frequency Drive Failure Causes Elevator Fire
An elevator fire occurred in a mid-rise apartment building in Vancouver on February 9, 2022. The fire was caused by the premature failure in the KEB F5 variable frequency drive’s (VFD) power components and failure of the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), which resulted in an abnormal and continuous current flow to the braking resistors. The resistors became red hot and then ignited inside of its compartment.
The failed VFD was mentioned in a technical bulletin issued by the manufacturer, confirming that this drive may have issues with the IGBT power module and can result in premature failure. The manufacturer recommended mounting an external thermal switch in the brake resistor cabinet, which would turn off voltage to the resistor if the internal braking transistor failed.
No one was using the elevator at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
In 2022, 51 incidents were reported to us, which was close to the same number of incidents reported in 2021.
Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year end.
Elevating Device Incidents by Year (2018 - 2022)
In 2022, 23 injuries were reported to Technical Safety BC, which is a 17% decrease compared with 2021. This decrease may not be an exact representation of the number of injuries in 2022, as any injuries associated with incidents still under assessment are excluded from this report.
As part of our commitment to share safety information with clients and the public, we share our incident investigation summaries and findings once completed.
Elevating Device Injuries by Year (2018 - 2022)
The number of permits increased by 1% in 2022 to a total of 29,126. In 2022, there were 1,702 installation permits issued, and 27,424 active operating permits.
Elevating Device Operating Permits and Installation Permits by Year (2018-2022)
Our safety officers completed a total of 3,065 assessments in 2022. Of this total, 2,686 were in-person assessments and 379 were remote assessments. The number of assessments decreased by 1% compared to 2021.
The results of in-person assessments included: 1,032 ranked as “conditional pass,” 1,335 ranked as “pass,” and 319 ranked as “failed." The results of remote assessments included: 67 ranked as “conditional pass,” 284 ranked as “pass,” and 28 ranked as “failed.”
Assessments are rated as follows:
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s).
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to NOT comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work may only be undertaken as directed on the certificate of inspection, while the identified non-compliances are being corrected.
The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to NOT comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work on the affected system or phase of work, and/or operation of the regulated equipment must not be undertaken until the identified non-compliances have been corrected.