Lift Owner or ‘Duty Holder’
The owner or ‘duty holder’ is a person designated responsible for the safe and suitable operation of the lift. It would normally be a ‘facilities manager’ or supervisor but could also be a ‘tenant’s association’ in a residential block or other such organisation responsible for ensuring the (funding for) safety of the lift. The owner of the property in which the lift is situated would normally be responsible if no such other person or group had been appointed.
Duty of Care – General
Everyone has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to avoid acts or omissions, which would be foreseeable as injuring other persons. Lift owners or duty holders have a specific responsibility to ensure the safety of others, while using the lift. In particular they are responsible for the safe use of the lift, which includes its safe operation, condition (maintenance) and compliance with relevant statutory requirements.
They may be required to explain to the authorities how these responsibilities have been discharged. This is usually by way of providing evidence of a regular servicing and maintenance regime together with a record of periodic thorough examinations by a competent person. The duty holder is responsible for ensuring the person undertaking the examination is competent.
All lifts are subject to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act and the General Application Regulations, notably Regulations 52, 53 and 54. SAFed recommends that all lifts should be subject to an effective servicing regime and thorough examination by a competent person. Records of servicing and maintenance together with thorough examination reports should be kept and provided to the regulatory authorities (HSA/Local Authority) when requested. Any actions required by the thorough examination report should be completed as soon as possible and before the time specified on the report. Where a dangerous defect has been detected requiring immediate cessation of work, the lift should not be used until the defect has been rectified and the lift declared safe to use.