TSSA Moves to Risk Based Periodic InspectionsDoug Guderian
A Bit of History,
Most Ontario elevator Owner/Operators are not aware that there was a fairly significant change in the way their elevator inspections were scheduled starting in the Fall of 2015. The Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA), who oversees all commercial elevators in Ontario, implemented Risk Based Scheduling (RBS) for Periodic Inspections. This means that the frequency of Periodic Inspections is now directly dependent on the perceived risk of the respective elevators.
For a number of years now, the TSSA has been gathering statistics on registered elevators in Ontario and on elevator contractors. These statistics come from “Periodic Inspections” that TSSA elevator inspectors conduct on elevating devices in Ontario. When an inspector comes to a site they fill out an “Inspection Report” for each elevator. If there is a deficiency, it is written up and is called a “Directive”. These directives can have varying degrees of urgency (such as: “replace the missing braille plate”, to more severe directives such as: “the re-opening device shall be made operative”). While the TSSA does not currently differentiate between the two, these directives can be items controlled by the owner, for instance: “remove the owner items from the machine room”, but more often they are items that relate to the services of the elevator contractor.
These inspection reports are sent to the elevator owner/operators and also the elevator contractors and the results of these reports are now being used by the TSSA to rate the risk of the elevating device. TSSA’s new model considers all issued inspection orders over the most recent three (3) periodic inspections and determines the risk of the respective elevator based on the volume and risk associated with the issued inspection orders. The model also considers the building usage (i.e. a frequently used elevator at a hospital would have higher inherent risk than say an elevator at a social club only used once per week). These statistics over the past years were assessed by a panel of experts (risk assessors, inspectors, incident investigators and engineers) and they considered the likelihood and consequence of potential incidents resulting from unsafe conditions posed by the violations. They arrived at a recommended “Time to Comply” and a risk score for every possible inspection order. A Device Risk score (either High Risk Device, Medium Risk Device or Low Risk Device) is assessed for each elevating device, based on the number and severity of inspection orders, and the building usage. Many inspection reports have some owner directions and some contractor directions.
The current system implemented by TSSA is certainly not perfect, and while the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA) is working with the TSSA to improve the system, this new Risk Based Scheduling certainly adds a significant level of objectivity and gives Elevator Owner/Operators a method of holding their elevator contractors accountable.
What does this mean to you?
If your elevator is deemed a higher risk, then the TSSA inspector will come to your site more frequently (as often as every 6 months) and it is the Elevator Owner who pays these expenses. As an Elevator Owner/Operator there are some things in your control when it comes to limiting deficiencies on your elevators, but ultimately your maintaining elevator contractor has the greatest influence on the risk of your elevating device (in many ways this seems unfair because it the owner who pays for re-inspections and also for a higher risk rating). High performing elevator contractors do the following to minimize inspection orders: they track due dates (i.e. category 1 and 5 testing); they ensure tasks are completed on time; they educate their staff; they reduce orders written; and they evaluate staff performance based on the number and severity of orders written.
As an Elevator Owner/Operator you can have a significant role in decreasing the risk of your elevator. Beyond the limited control you have in eliminating owner controlled deficiencies, you can start holding your own elevator contractor accountable. For one, you can check up on the track record of your elevator contractor by requesting a copy of the maintaining contractor’s quarterly reports from the TSSA (Elevator One is always pleased to provide our statistics as we have continually been one of the highest performing elevator contractors in the province). Secondly, go into the machine room and look at the Maintenance Control Program (MCP) which the elevator contractor must sign on each visit. Are they showing up? Are they signing off for each inspection (whether quarterly or monthly)? Are they signing off for the required Category 1 (annual testing) and Category 5 (5 year testing)? Are you regularly receiving inspection reports with orders? For example. with Elevator One’s customers, over 50% of the inspection reports come back with no directions on them.
If you are not getting the service you deserve and your elevator is needlessly being rated as a higher risk elevator, take a look at your elevator contract and look to find an elevator contractor with a high TSSA rating and a desire to service their clients with excellence.
Sales & Marketing Manager
Rolly has been in the elevator industry for over 15 years in both a sales role and running an Operations Department. He works hard to help implement methods to provide superior service to Elevator One clients.