With the growth in the development of high-rise residential condominiums and the increasing heights of many new buildings, there are growing concerns about elevator safety and reliability.
As a result, the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Government Services has instructed the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (the ”TSSA”) to commission research that will pinpoint the causes of elevator unreliability and recommend solutions to address those problems. The TSSA has requested proposals to conduct the research and file a report by mid-October, 2017. In its request for proposals the TSSA indicated:
“Ontario is currently experiencing one of the largest construction booms in residential properties in North America (and) a rapid growth in the number of elevators. . . . . Corresponding with this vertical growth in urban housing has been an increase in media and consumer focus on the state of elevator availability due to the devices taking too long to arrive, be repaired, or being completely out of service.”
As reported in our earlier blog post, there have been an increasing number of articles in the media recently about people being trapped in elevators and the length of time it takes for elevator repairs to be carried out. Questions have been raised about the adequacy of current elevator maintenance norms – are elevators being maintained frequently enough and are elevator maintenance staff spending the requisite time needed to properly maintain an elevator?
A recent article in Macleans indicated that there is possible a shortage of qualified elevator mechanics due to the rapid development of high-rise buildings. As reported in Canadian Business Magazine there has been a 94% increase in the number of elevator mechanic jobs in Canada in the last five years and elevator mechanic ranks #10 on its list of best jobs for 2017.
Those who live in high-rise buildings will no doubt be interested to see the findings and recommendations of the research study. Hopefully the solutions recommended in the report, together with Bill 109 will result in safer, more reliable elevator service.