Safety Regulations Remain in Full Effect During Labour Disruption
TORONTO, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), Ontario's public safety regulator, is stepping up its enforcement of provincial elevator safety regulations to ensure public safety during the labour dispute between the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) and the National Elevator and Escalator Association (NEEA).
Enhanced enforcement actions include:
- Increase the pace of inspections
- Prioritize inspections to target high risk elevators
- Review shut down policies to ensure any unsafe elevator does not pose a public safety risk
- Increase investigation of reports of unqualified/uncertified technicians working on elevators
- Conduct a targeted audit of elevator companies to ensure all work is being done in strict compliance with safety regulations
Approximately half of Ontario's 3000 certified elevator technicians have been off the job since May 1st in a contract dispute with four of Ontario's largest elevator companies - Otis, Schindler Kone and ThyssenKrupp. Irrespective of the labour dispute, TSSA continues to vigorously enforce all elevator and escalator safety regulations and is closely monitoring the situation to respond to any emerging public safety risk.
TSSA also issued today an information bulletin to all building owners and elevator and escalator contractors reminding them that safety regulations remain in full effect during the current labour dispute and that building owners are legally responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of elevating devices. The information bulletin is available on TSSA's website at www.tssa.org and notes the following:
- Only TSSA-registered elevator contractors employing TSSA-certified technicians can legally carry out work on elevators and escalators.
- Building owners and elevator technicians are required under the safety regulations to report serious incidents to TSSA.
- Maintenance schedules must be maintained.
- Building owners and certified elevator technicians have a legal and professional responsibility to shut down elevators that pose an imminent safety risk to the public.
- Local fire departments should be notified if designated firefighter elevators are not working.
Recent media reports suggesting that 75 per cent of elevators in Ontario are in some form of disrepair and pose a serious safety risk to the public and that the four large companies representing (NEEA) have a 95 per cent monopoly on elevator operations in Ontario are misleading and factually incorrect. Similarly, reports that elevator companies in Ontario are self-regulated, is wholly misguided.
Ontario has one of the most comprehensive safety regimes for elevating devices in the world. Safety regulations for elevating devices are set by the Ontario Government and enforced by TSSA. Safety decisions are made autonomously by the Elevating Devices Safety Program Statutory Director and are done so independent of management, board and government influence as explicitly set out in the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000 and the Memorandum of Understanding between TSSA and the Ministry of Consumer Services.
The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is Ontario's public safety regulator dedicated to enhancing public safety. Throughout Ontario, TSSA regulates the safety of amusement devices, boilers and pressure vessels, elevating devices, fuels, operating engineers, ski lifts, and upholstered and stuffed articles. Its safety mandate includes public education and consumer information, certification, licensing and registration, engineering design review, inspections, investigations, safety management consultation, and enforcement and prosecution activities. The organization's vision is to be a valued advocate and recognized authority in public safety.
SOURCE: Technical Standards and Safety Authority, Stakeholder Communications Group
For further information:
Wilson Lee, Spokesperson
Technical Standards and Safety Authority
Telephone: 416-734-2728: Email: [email protected]
For more information on the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, please visit www.tssa.org.