How to Improve Elevator Safety with Risk Management?
Manufacturing, installing, and using rules elevators are set by strict and definite standards all around the world. And governments or local authorities set rules for elevators according to these standards. But, some undesired and unexpected accidents still occur even if people obey all the rules and standards. So, although they are very expensive systems, why there are still some elevator accidents all around the world?
Today, there are two different general standards for elevators; North American and European. All of the standards are focused on a single issue; human safety. But, as we can understand from the rare accidents, standards don’t provide 100% protection. Because standards are the minimum requirements. So, even with all the standards, there are still some risks to deal with. There are no regulations for unexpected or unprecedented risks.
For example, there are elevator safety brake systems to prevent the freefall of the cabins. There are even systems to smooth the deceleration. There are some special sensors to detect the event of a possible freefall, which activate the brake systems. But, what if these sensors malfunction? There is no system or standard for the failure of these systems because the risk level of this situation is low.
So the answer is risk management. Today we will talk about the risk assessment and management systems of elevators.
What is Risk Management for Elevator Safety?
So, what is risk management?
Risk management is;
- Detection or identification,
- Risk management plan,
of risks in order to follow, control, and minimize the probable and undesired events.
It is impossible to overcome all of the risks. Because there are many different sources and it is not possible and effective to find solutions to all of them. So, we follow risk management rules for elevator safety. What we should do is identify the risks, prioritize them, and take effective actions for the most important ones.
When we consider this with the example above, freefall is a great risk. This is why freefall sensors are placed in the system. But, a problem of freefall and malfunction with all the sensors at the same time is not a big probability. This is why there are no measures for the risks with low probabilities. But if they occur at the same time, the accident will be inevitable. In order to prevent these, we should estimate the worst, and take precautions as effectively as we can.
On the other hand, standards are not constant rules. New requirements and technological improvements can make existing standards obsolete, and replace them with new ones. For example, as the elevator components and control units became more sophisticated, all other systems and their standards are also adapting them. This makes everything easier and safer than the old standards.
Another important factor that affects the risk management of elevator safety is incidents. As we mentioned before, accidents are unexpected and unprecedented events. So, once we live them, we should investigate deeply what are the real reasons and what we should do to prevent them. The precautions will change the rules and standards.
How to Deal with Risks?
As we have mentioned, it is impossible to overcome all the risks, but it is possible to decrease the risk level with effective standards. We have to create a balance between risk assessments, costs, and technological improvements in order to provide effectiveness. So, here are some proven methods to prevent risks.
Prepare the Most Proper Projects
There are different proper solutions for the same requirements. But, it is important to prepare or choose the most proper elevator projects to minimize the risk level. You should consider the general purpose and conditions of a project, and prepare your plans according to them. For example, taller buildings require denser use of elevators. Also, they will carry more loads than ordinary elevators. So, you should calculate the necessities, and choose a project according to these considerations. Otherwise, the elevator will have to work over its capacity, which will result in frequent breakdowns and a short lifecycle. Even maybe undesired accidents. So, you should make the right definitions of requirements and prepare your project according to them.
Use the Right Material
There are so many elevator manufacturers around the world with so many different quality levels. Some projects like a desolate parking lot a low-density use or a complete elevator project may not have a problem with under-quality systems. But, on the contrary, you should prefer the best materials with top quality.
Prefer Preventive Maintenance
Elevator maintenance companies provide a standard maintenance program for all elevators. But, some projects may wear out easier than others because of the density of use. And when standard maintenance is applied to all individual elevators, these high-density ones will not have proper or enough maintenance. For example, the system calibrations of them should be held earlier than its standards with the preventive maintenance program. This will provide a longer lifecycle and a better safety level. This way, it will also be easier to detect problems earlier and prevent them.
When we generally see risk management, it is obvious that working with professionals is crucial. So, you should work with the best companies, and prefer the top quality solutions. ISF Elevator is one of the best companies that provide top-quality systems and materials. If safety is a top priority for you and you want the best one, let us provide them to you.
ISF Elevator – Content Producer