One of the most common questions at Common Ground AGM’s is “Why are we paying for lift maintenance AND lift insurance?”
The misconception is that, if the lifts are insured, surely, we can save money on maintaining them and just claim on the lift insurance when they break down? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?…….well it isn’t true.
Lift insurance is somewhat mis-named. What you actually get with these policies is independent inspections of your lifts every six months.
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, or LOLER for short, apply to all lifts provided for use in work activities (and communal areas in blocks of flats are classified as work areas by the HSE). The regulations require that applicable lifts be subject to a thorough examination at regular intervals; in the case of passenger carrying lifts this is usually no more than six months. Being a regulation, compliance is a legal requirement for any applicable lifts, hence the requirement for lift insurance.
To ensure impartiality, LOLER regulations require that the inspecting party be “sufficiently independent and impartial to allow them to make an objective assessment of the lift.”
Lift maintenance ensures that the lifts continue to function and are safe. Lifts have many moving parts and safety features and these need to be tested and maintained regulalrly. Perishable parts need to be periodically replaced and a poorly maintained lift will likely not continue to operate to its expected life span.
So in practice, the lift insurance policy pays for the (independent) LOLER inspections and a lift maintenance contract ensures that the lifts continue to function safely (and that any recommendations of a LOLER report are implemented).