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Stricter elevator rules needed

(China Daily)

20:57, May 23, 2013

Many elevator- and escalator-related accidents, some of them fatal, were reported last week. But such accidents are always blamed on elevator or maintenance companies while supervision departments are rarely pulled up, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

According to the emergency notice of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, such accidents can be blamed on "insufficient implementation of safe use and management (rules) of elevators" and "lack of elevator maintenance". The administration also says that elevator (and escalator) safety rules have to be strengthened.

Industry insiders agree that most elevator-related accidents occur because of lack of maintenance rather than no maintenance at all. If this indeed is the case, why are supervision department officials not held at least partly responsible for the accidents and punished for dereliction of duty? Perhaps the puzzling laws and regulations on elevator and escalator safety have something to do with that.

Important factors like elevator quality, manufacture, inspection, maintenance and safe use are scattered across the Law on Product Quality, Real Right Law and the Regulation on Safety Supervision of Special Equipment. This makes it difficult to identify the party that should be held responsible when an accident occurs.

The recent accidents have made it all the urgent to streamline and strengthen the laws and regulations on elevator and escalator safety.

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