Around 8000 lifts in Malta and Gozo are potentially unsafe for passengers as they are unregistered, uncertified and are not regularly inspected to ensure they meet EU safety standards, according to the Malta Lifts Association.
“Lift installers are legally bound to observe EU standards and regulations, but some choose to operate outside the regulatory system. This puts lift users are risk,” said in a statement Dr Lorna Mifsud Cachia, President of the Malta Lifts Association.
The Association is a reference body for information about lift safety requirements, CE certification, and related concerns and issued the statement a few days after an elderly woman was seriously injured when a lift in Marsascala fell down two storeys.
The Association said Maltese law requires that all lifts should be registered with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. An unregistered lift is more likely to be a safety risk as it is not routinely tested and inspected, and is less likely to be well maintained. The lift registration fee is a once-only €10.00 payment, so an unregistered lift is likely to be non-compliant in some way. This means it is intrinsically unsafe. Owners are legally responsible for any accidents due to non-conformity or poor maintenance of the installation.
“Lift owners are responsible – either directly or indirectly through an administrator if indeed one has been appointed - for safety once their lift is installed,” Dr Mifsud Cachia says. “In blocks of apartments, where one or more lifts are shared and hence are part of the common parts, the administrator becomes the responsible person to ensure lift safety. If no administrator has been appointed, then all the lift owners are jointly responsible for ensuring lift safety.”
The Malta Lifts Association said that lift accidents can be avoided by proper installation, maintenance and correct use. Lift suppliers are legally obliged to provide safe equipment, parts and installation (Lift Regulations 2002). Condominium administrators or, in default, lift owners are obliged under the Inspection of Lifts Regulations 2007 (ILR 2007) to ensure that the installation is certified, registered and regularly inspected and maintained, and that the lift is used appropriately.
Once a lift has been installed, a certificate of conformity issued by the Notified Body formally confirms that the lift has been installed correctly and tested for safety. Regular preventive inspection ensures safety standards are maintained. The persons responsible for lifts in terms of ILR 2007 are obliged to have their lift inspected and certified by persons suitably qualified to carry out lift inspections. In residential buildings, lifts should be inspected annually. In workplaces, inspection should be twice a year.
All members of the Malta Lifts Association provide quality supply and installation, and reliable maintenance in line with EU standards and regulations. The association is self-regulating. Suppliers who do not meet the required standards are not admitted to the association.
Enquiries about lift safety, regulation and certification may be sent to General Secretary Malta Lifts Association at email firstname.lastname@example.org All communications are dealt with confidentially.