Elevating Case Study: Malfunctioning Hall Gates

Hall gates act as the entrance door to the elevator car from the hall landing. They are a critical component of the elevating system due to their location and interaction with the public. For this reason it is very important that the mechanical and electrical components of hall gates are in proper working order at all times.

Malfunctioning Hall Gates
Figure 10: Malfunctioning Hall Gates

Since October 2014, there have been 4 hazards identified by BCSA safety officers during regular inspections that deal with hall gates. Two of these involve mechanical components, a failure of which could result in a pinching and shearing hazard, and are rated as major. The other two involve electrical components whose failure is more serious as it could lead to the elevator car moving up and down the elevator shaft while the hall gates remain in an open position and are therefore rated as severe.

In March, a BCSA safety officer had to fail the inspection of an elevating device after the hall interlocks that keep the door closed during operation were found to be not operating correctly. This hazard allowed the hall gates to be opened at any time during the operation of the elevator, which could result in a person falling into the elevator shaft or risk of shearing. The maintenance contractor was notified immediately to resolve the issue.

This hazard was the result of a lack of knowledge on the part of the person who had performed maintenance on the elevator. This hazard could be prevented by ensuring that only authorized and qualified personnel perform maintenance on the equipment and that these personnel fully understand the severity of such a hazard.

If you would like more specifics on the minimum maintenance requirements and schedule for elevators please have a look at the following directive:


Elevating Case Study: Failure to Level Elevator Car and Hall Landing

When an elevator car is called to a landing, the car’s platform is required to stop within a certain distance of the hoistway landing when the doors are fully open. Older elevators constructed to codes earlier than the 2000 version had to level within 2” of the landing, but modern elevators must level within 0.5”. Due to a number of component failures or design limitations, many elevators level outside of this accepted clearance. A failure to level with the landing results in a tripping and falling hazard for riders loading and unloading from the car.

Elevator Car Out of Level

Figure 4: Elevator Car Out of Level with Hall Landing (closeup)

Figure 11: Elevator Car Out of Level with Hall Landing

This hazard was observed by a BCSA safety officer in November 2014 during an inspection and was rated as a major hazard due to the fact that the elevating unit is located in a residential building inhabited by elderly citizens.  The inspection was conditionally passed and the maintenance contractor was required to adjust the brakes. Depending on the root cause of the leveling failure, a component may need to be replaced or re-calibrated or the elevating technology may need to be upgraded.

Since 2009 there have been 37 incidents reported to BCSA where passengers have tripped, resulting in injury, due to an elevator not being level. Leveling Incidents represent 25% of all incidents involving a B44.2 elevator reported to BCSA in the same time frame.

In order to prevent such incidents, it is necessary to properly maintain and monitor elevating units, which may vary in appearance, depending on the type of elevator (hydraulic vs. electric) as well as the age and condition of the unit. According to the incident data set, older, electric units in multi-family residential buildings are of particular concern.

If you would like more specifics on the minimum maintenance requirements and schedule for elevators, please have a look at the following directive: