Permit Application, Inspection and testing for Elevators and other Conveying Systems

Permit application, inspection and testing for Elevators and other Conveying Systems

The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Prescriptive process of code development is an intricate progression of actions starting from a public or committee proposal, through a very extensive and broad based public and industry consensus process culminating with the publication of the final document, ASME A17.1/CSA B44.  The Prescriptive Code process provides definite guidelines for the design, construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks and material lifts by means of measurable and visually verifiable requirements referenced by a specific code number.

The ASME Performance-based process of code development improves upon the public review and committee involvement process by accepting the manufacturer’s system or component certification (for safety) when introducing new technologies. It relies on the elevator manufacturer to provide a CCD (Code Compliance Document) that is verified by an AECO (Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organization).  It is the AECO who is responsible for producing a Certificate (Certificate of Conformance) pursuant to ASME A17.7/B44.7 Performance-based safety code for elevators and escalators, following a procedure which satisfies compliance with GESR (Global Essential Safety Requirement), RA (Risk Assessment) methodology and applicable SPs (Safety Parameter).

In contrast to the Prescriptive process, the Performance-based Code process does not allow for the introduction of inspection and tests procedures through implementation of related codes or manuals.  It relies on the elevator manufacturer to provide a documented MCP (Maintenance Control Program) that specifies the manufacturer’s procedures for Inspection and Testing and thereby allowing the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) to follow a process oriented (MCP) standard that does not rely on referenced code numbers in the compilation of reports for structured enforcement.

It is generally the responsibility of the AHJ to certify compliance of new equipment, alterations to existing equipment and inspect and test existing installations to insure the safety and welfare of the riding public.  This process culminates with the AHJ providing a renewable Certificate of Operation.  Such responsibilities are clearly defined in the Prescriptive process.  In the Performance-based process, as shown in A17.7/B44.7, Non-mandatory Appendix F, Figure F-1, the regulatory process is outside the scope of the Code.

The Structure
The Elevator Process Table gives an overview of the different combinations, diverse requirements for each combination to apply for a permit, the resulting shop drawing submittal and, finally, the documentation and data needed for inspection and tests.

The Permit Application
The Elevator Code Compliance Affidavit is submitted in the package for the Application for a Permit to Install or Alter.  Tables A and B found in the Elevator Code Compliance Affidavit provide statements of elevator code compliance and confirmation of inclusion of the compliance documentation.  These new tables are added to satisfy the requirements of the Performance-based code. Click here to view a sample Certificate of Conformance obtained from an AECO. ASME A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-07 recommended check list for documentation to Accompany the Application for Permit provides additional information on the complete documentation.

The Inspection process
The Performance-based system relies on the manufacturer to provide a MCP that specifies the procedures for inspection and testing.  AHJs have no standardized procedure to follow and no reference numbers to use in the proper compilation of reports for structured enforcement.  Because the equipment is not manufactured or installed pursuant to a Prescriptive system, an AHJ may be required to conduct different inspection and test procedures for what may appear to be similar elevators.

Additional notes:
1. Since the Performance-based system relies on the manufacturer to be responsible for compiling product-specific inspections and tests procedures in a MCP binder, the inspector must assess the validity of such documentation on site, while performing the inspection and tests.
2. The Performance-based system provides a Certificate (Certificate of Conformance) issued by an AECO (Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organization) employed by the elevator or component manufacturer.  This certificate has an expiration date.  This is probably acceptable as long as the inspection takes place before the expiration date.  Changes in the design made by the manufacturer that do not affect the safety of the system are excluded.  The manufacturer shall bear responsibility for such changes and shall inform the AHJ – in writing – when such changes are incorporated.
3.  It is essential that the MCP be kept at the site in the Machine Room, Control Room or Control Space so that the AHJ has permanent access without delay.  The MCP must be the property of the owner and removal should constitute a violation.