Ensuring lift safety
The editorial of September 18 describes the statement made by the Malta Lift Association as “special pleading”. Indeed, it was merely a stark reminder of the reality which the leader itself described as “a laissez faire attitude to safety and its regulation”.
The association’s only objective is to promote lift safety. It has no interest in furthering any commercial interests but, rather, it is interested in ensuring that the lift sector becomes safe. Hence, there is no “special pleading” and, certainly, no ulterior motive, as the editorial seems to imply, behind the association’s so-called “allegations”.
Furthermore, the editorial enquires whether “unregistered lifts (are) by definition ‘potentially unsafe’”. Firstly, the association did not brand all unregistered lifts simply “unsafe” but, rather, as “potentially unsafe”. In other words, an unregistered lift may potentially pose risks that registered lifts do not.
An unregistered lift may be so because it would have been certified after installation and, hence, not have been tested by a notified body and declared to be safe. Also, an unregistered lift is not being preventively inspected and, hence, lacks the yearly inspection (in the case of a residence).
Contrary to the impression given by the editorial, it is not the chief duty of the authorities to ensure proper compliance. The lift owner or condominium administrator, no different from a car owner, is the prime actor in ensuring the safety of his own lift.
The authorities inspect and enforce the law but the first point of departure for lift safety rests with the installer (up to the point of putting into service and certification) and, subsequently, the lift owner.
Lift owners are also encouraged to be vigilant and to ensure that, for lifts installed after July 1, 2002, lift installers hand over the technical files complete with the certificate of conformity issued by the notified body that would have inspected and certified the lift.
For lifts put into service before July 1, 2002, the lift owner (or condominium administrator) has the duty to register the lift.
The association has, over the years, worked together with the authorities and cooperated as much as possible over various issues regarding lift safety.