Ontario's Action Plan On Elevator Availability
In June 2017, the Ontario government requested that the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) commission an independent report on elevator availability. The study was completed by the Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham.
The purpose of the study was to define and assess the state of elevator availability in Ontario as well as key drivers of non-availability, and propose regulatory and non-regulatory solutions.
The study concluded that elevator availability is a complex issue and no single solution will solve it. Relevant information is sparse and provides a mixed picture of the state of elevator availability in Ontario.
The government is taking action to address all of the recommendations included in the final report. The phased action plan will involve proposed legislative amendments in early 2018, which would be followed by stakeholder consultation and proposed regulatory amendments in fall 2018. It will be important to take the necessary time to collect the relevant data, assess the options and determine the appropriate balance between costs and benefits.
Ontario's elevator availability action plan includes the following proposed actions and projected timelines:
- Enhancing access to elevators for first responders (mid-2018).
- Enhancing enforcement of elevator safety regulation by TSSA to ensure elevators are adequately and proactively maintained (fall 2018).
- Addressing the labour supply of elevator mechanics through consultations to determine options to meet labour market demands (fall 2018).
- Creating future standards for elevator repair timelines, including proposing any necessary legislative and regulatory amendments, to be informed by the data collected by TSSA -- making Ontario the first jurisdiction worldwide to do so (2018 through 2019).
- Developing education and awareness materials for building owners and residents to support compliance with requirements for notice of service disruptions (fall 2018 and into early 2019).
- Creating new standards for conducting traffic analyses and the minimum number of elevators in new residential and institutional high-rise (over six storeys) buildings through changes to the Ontario Building Code (beginning 2018 through 2021).
- Establishing baseline data through proposed legislative and regulatory changes creating reporting requirements for elevator outage data and making the data publicly available (early to mid-2019).
- Designating an appropriate regulatory body to administer and enforce requirements regarding elevator availability, including standards for elevator repair and timelines, and to advise on associated compliance costs for elevator contractors and owners (late 2019).