Grave concerns regarding the maintenance and safety of elevators across Shanghai have taken hold of the city after several tragic incidents resulting in loss of life. Many people are refusing to use the elevators in their buildings and safety officials were forced to investigate operational and maintenance procedures. After the investigations took place, new safety laws have been developed with intentions of having these laws in place as soon as possible to prevent further loss of life. Across Shanghai, there are 82, 552 elevators in operation with half of those being in residential complexes and over five thousand being over ten years old.

In 2015 there were almost 7,000 reports of serious malfunctions to those elevators and over 8,000 people needing rescuing from elevators. 53% of those rescue incidents took place in residential buildings. Aging control systems and improper maintenance along with inappropriate usage of the elevators across Shanghai have been named as reasons for these incidents, as well as rubbish gathering in the gaps of the elevator shafts when it is being taken out of apartments and office buildings to the outside rubbish bins.  The Special Industry Center found that ten residential communities had such high rates of elevator malfunctions that they had no option but to create a blacklist. Reasons given for these ten complexes having such bad problems with their elevators were things such as them being new and their lifts still under testing, which is frightening to think that they have not been cleared for use and yet people are still travelling in them. In some of the ten complexes, scraps of interior design materials such as sticky wallpaper were found lodged in the systems, which is also extremely worrying.

Most of the reasons for the problems were man-made, and what’s even more disturbing is that out of forty elevator companies surveyed, only five of those gained five stars in their safety and maintenance procedures and conduct of business. Fifteen only received two stars. Some companies were found to be employing less than fully qualified staff. Considering elevators are used to transport human beings from one floor of a building to another, these findings are extremely alarming.

Here at Elevators Ltd we know the extreme importance of proper and regular lift maintenance, carried out to the utmost highest standards. The UK fortunately has stricter regulations than some countries when it comes to human safety and that’s why we pride ourselves on upholding those regulations in every area of our work.