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The Elevator Safety Act

You’ve just sat down at the firehouse kitchen table. The alarm sounds. Is it a 10-75? A 10-60? A 10-41? Nope. It is yet another 10-29 elevator emergency. It’s deja vu all over again. “Didn’t we just respond to this same stuck elevator last week?” The chances are high that building with chronic elevator issues is being maintained by an elevator mechanic who lacks the proper training and expertise. With the recent passage of The Elevator Safety Act, elevator mechanics will at last be required to be licensed before they can put their hands on an elevator.

In an effort to reduce unsafe elevator hazards, New York will now follow in the footsteps of 36 other states that require elevator mechanics to be licensed. The new law requires all individuals engaged in the design, construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of elevators to be licensed by New York State. The law also creates the New York State Elevator Safety and Standards Advisory Board to help establish recommendations for elevator inspections, examinations to satisfy licensing requirements,
and enforcement to ensure compliance and promote public safety. The DOB must also start maintaining a list of licensed mechanics, contractors and inspectors.

While the City’s approximately 63,000 passenger elevators are supposed to be tested and inspected by licensed professionals, before this new law, there was no requirement that the workers performing every-day critical maintenance be licensed. This has meant an increased burden on the FDNY, and increased dangers to the public.

Under the new law, in order to obtain an elevator-contractor license, elevator-mechanic license, or elevator-inspector license, one must take a written test on national, state, and local codes (with at least four years of experience) or complete a union apprenticeship or other approved training program. Additionally, the renewal of all licenses shall be conditioned upon the completion of continuing education.

We hope this common-sense law results in fewer elevator emergencies, and increased safety for the public and
first responders.

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