Elevators now safer

| 18/03/2009

(CNS): The risk of elevator accidents in the Cayman Islands has been greatly reduced following an investigation by the Office of the Complaints Comissioner (OCC) and the subsequent high level of compliance by the Building Control Unit (BCU) to his reccomendations concerning the building inspection of elevators and the approval process of new elevator equipment, Commissioner Dr John Epp has said.

In a release from the OCC, Epp said that a notable step in improvements to public safety was the installation of a key box in all elevators that had passed the new inspection requirements, which would allow consistent access by fire service professionals and improve response times in case of an emergency. In addition, officers from the Cayman Islands Fire Service have been trained in the new elevator equipment on the island.

A dated certificate, which will be reassessed annually, will be posted inside elevators so that members of the public can be assured that the elevator has passed inspection, the release said.
In regards to legal procedures and public notification, the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) found that statutory provisions already existed in the Cayman Islands Building Code (CIBC) which governs the approval of new equipment and the installation and inspection of elevators in the Cayman Islands, and that imposing these requirements and continued monitoring were within the power of the BCU.

However, the code sections pertaining to elevator inspections (as opposed to electrical connections for elevators) had not been enforced until June 2007.

Recently an elevator inspector was appointed, and he has met individually with industry stakeholders regarding the enforcement requirements and this dialogue will be ongoing. The BCU has also drafted guidelines for equipment approval which sets out the information required to make a determination on an application for equipment approval, Dr Epp said. Furthermore, new application forms will require that new equipment entering these islands henceforth must be outlined in detail on application forms, which will be inspected by the BCU.

The planning application forms should soon be avaible on the Planning Department’s website at www.planning.gov.ky and a flow chart to assist applicants through the process is currently being edited.

According to the Commissioner, industry stakeholders will also benefit following compliance of recommendations that the initial and ongoing costs of inspections will be borne by BCU, and with advance notice of any changes in the emphasis of enforcement. The OCC also found that the inspection process is now centrally organized, as recommended. Furthemore, installation inspections can now be scheduled two weeks in advance to ensure availability of an inspector and avoid timely delays, and the resulting inspection report will be delivered to the appropriate party within one week of the inspection.

“As a result of our recommendations for this case and the hard work of the BCU, the risk of elevator accidents has now been greatly reduced and I commend the BCU for its diligence in the great progress so far,” Dr Epp said. “We will continue to work with the BCU as it endevours to comply with the outstanding recommendations.”

These are that the elevator installation inspector trains others in the technical aspects of inspections so that more than one inspector will be on the staff of the BCU, and that theBCU consistently apply the elevator equipment approval and installation inspection requirements.
The OCC is located on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, phone number (345) 943 2220. The website is www.occ.gov.ky.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well we can all sleep easy now that the elevators of Cayman are safe!


  2. Anonymous says:

    OCC-a budget looking for amission!

    The OCC clearly needs reviewing. This office was set up to primarily deal withcomplaints that the PUBLIC has with the CIVIL SERVICE.  It appears that John Epp does not have enough complaints and thus has created other roles to keep the "empire" going.

    This elevator issue is a BCU and Building CODE issue..it is a ridiculous waste of resources to have the OOC involved.  Last year I think I remember the OCC was looking into local boating…local boating!!  

    We need to get the OCC to focus on complaints against the Civil Service. If that becomes a part time job then adjust the salaries to suit.

    More Government empires and waste.