Make lift contractors, technicians accountable for safety

While the move to ramp up lift inspections islandwide is a welcome one, more ought to be done ("Govt to ramp up lift inspections islandwide"; March 12).

At present, inspections of HDB lifts are carried out by lift technicians of lift maintenance contractors appointed by town councils. The lift technicians sign on a log card at each lift well to indicate that a job has been carried out.

Town council staff periodically do audit checks on the log cards to ensure compliance.

The question here is whether the lift technicians do a thorough inspection and servicing based on standing operating procedures.

What is there to prevent a lift technician who does not take his job seriously to not make an inspection or just do a cursory inspection, and sign off on the log card as a job done?

I expect that after the round of audits by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), there will be a report and recommendations.

I hope the BCA can be more proactive by making lift maintenance contractors and lift technicians fully accountable for the safety of lifts under their charge.

The Government could pass a law to this effect. This could include fines and/or a jail sentence if it is found that there is wilful negligence of a lift.

To be fair, the town councils could appoint a team of independent lift maintenance consultants to be activated in the event of a major lift breakdown or accident. These consultants will ascertain whether servicing has indeed been carried out. If it is proven without doubt that there is negligence, then the law should come in.

With the law in place, lift maintenance contractors and lift technicians will have to wake up and not cut corners, if they had been doing so all this while.

High-rise dwellers depend on lifts for vertical mobility. Their safety depends on zero tolerance for lift accidents.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee