Passenger Lift Safety Alert

people entering a lift

As a result of a recent fatal accident involving a passenger lift, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) wish to bring the following safety concerns to the attention of those persons who are in control of and also those who maintain passenger lifts.

Safety Concern

An issue has been identified with a number of passenger lifts when in motion between floors. Should pressure be applied to open the doors the following occurs:

  • the lift car will stop,
  • the doors on the affected passenger lifts will then go through an opening cycle exposing persons to a potential hazard,
  • the doors will then close again, once they are not obstructed,
  • the lift will continue to its destination as normal.

Should this happen, the person in the passenger lift should remain clear of the opening.

The HSA have commenced an urgent inspection programme to ascertain the extent and nature of the passenger lifts involved.

Competent Persons

Competent Persons, either those carrying out 6 monthly thorough examinations (often an insurance engineer surveyor/independent inspection company) or those carrying out maintenance, in addition to their normal programme, and taking care of their own safety, should pay particular attention to the following;

  • Wear on components affecting lobby and lift car doors.
  • The distance between the lift car door and the wall of the lift shaft.
  • The operation of the inner and outer lift doors to ensure that doors operate as normal.

Employers and Persons in Control

Employers and persons in control should ensure checks are carried out by competent persons to ensure their lift/s comply with required standards.

Should issues arise as outlined above, controls should be put in place to ensure the safety of all persons using the lift.

The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 places duties on employers and persons who have control to any extent of a place of work to ensure that the means of access to and egress there from and any article provided for use are safe and without risk to health.

Those responsible for the operation of passenger lifts should also ensure that they have a current report of thorough examination (required every 6 months). They should also be in possession of a log-book where details of any repairs or checks have been recorded.

Users of Passenger Lifts

Whilst passenger lifts provided for use in general are a safe method of access & egress, care should always be exercised when they are being used by vulnerable persons such as children. Should the doors of a passenger lift open unusually as described above, then all passengers should stay clear of the doors and wait for the lift to complete its journey. The matter should then be brought to the attention of the person in control of the place of work.


  • EU Directive 95/16/EC 29th June 1995
  • EN 81-1:1998 + A3:2009

March 2014