Single bottom cylinder elevator risks decrease in BC
Recently, BC Safety Authority (BCSA) enforced a safety order related to potentially unsafe elevators.
Building owners in British Columbia were notified that they could face a $15,000 fine and have their elevator shut down if they did not comply with provincial safety requirements that have been in place since 2010.
The enforcement comes after a safety order issued by BCSA over five years ago. In 2010, over 1,300 owners of buildings containing potentially unsafe elevating units were contacted to comply with the safety order to remove, upgrade, or provide proof that their elevating devices were not hazardous.
Elevators with the single bottom cylinder designs have been linked to several elevating tragedies within the past decade in North America. Fatalities and many serious injuries have been reported in the USA and in Canada when the cylinders containing hydraulic fluid corrode over time and cause the elevator to experience an uncontrolled descent.
BCSA only takes enforcement measures when owners neglect their safety responsibilities and fail to comply. We provided elevator owners with notifications, letters and numerous opportunities to comply and upgrade their single bottom cylinder elevators since the safety order was issued more than five years ago.
“Our top priority is the safety of people in British Columbia,” says Jason Gill, Provincial Safety Manager for Elevating Devices. “There are significant and escalating safety concerns with single bottom cylinder elevators, so they need to be fixed now or removed from service.”
Since the safety order was communicated in 2010, over 98% of owners have fulfilled their safety responsibility, greatly reducing risk to public safety.
Under BC regulations, the onus is on building owners to inform BCSA of the steps they have taken to remove or upgrade their single bottom cylinder elevators.