Lifting machines and equipment
Inspection of Lifts (Amendment) Regulations.
Locally, the regulatory framework for lifts consists of two main pieces of legislation, namely, the Lifts Regulations (S.L. 427.37) and the Inspection of Lifts Regulations (S.L. 427.63).
The Lifts Regulations were introduced in 2002 by means of LN 370/2002 and applied lock-stock-and-barrel the provisions of the first Lifts Directive (Directive 95/16/EC).
In 2014, the Lifts Directive received an overhaul through Directive 2014/33/EU. This Directive was transposed locally in the Lifts Regulations, 2016 and regulates all aspects related to the placing on the market, installation and conformity assessment of lifts and their safety components.
The Inspection of Lifts Regulations were introduced in 2007 and represented Malta’s endeavour to ensure that following their installation, lifts remain safe through preventive maintenance and periodic inspections carried out by Authorised Conformity Assessment Bodies (‘ACABs’). The Inspection of Lifts Regulations also ensure that installed lifts are gradually modernised throughout their lifetime to improve their safety.
Whilst the Lifts Regulations received an overhaul through the transposition of the Lifts Directive (Recast) in 2016, the Inspection of Lifts Regulations remained unchanged since their introduction in 2007. To ensure that the legal framework remains effective in ensuring that lifts remain safe throughout their lifetime, the Inspection of Lifts Regulations underwent a ‘fitness-check’ which aimed at identifying rooms for improvement in terms of applicable safety standards, coherence with the Lifts Regulations and overall procedural efficacy. In line with the
foregoing, the following legislative amendments are being proposed:
1. ‘existing’ and ‘new’ lifts
The current regulations create a dichotomy between existing and new lifts. ‘Existing’ lifts are defined as lifts installed and put into service prior the 1st of July 2002 and ‘new’ lifts are defined as those lifts that are installed and put into service after 1st July 2002. The date of 1st July 2002 corresponds to the date when the Lifts regulations, 2002 became applicable.
Lifts installed and put into service after 1st July 2002 were required to be compliant with the provisions of the Lifts Regulations, 2002 and were hence required to be duly assessed by a notified body and declared conformant with the regulations. On the other hand, lifts installed and put into service before the entry into force of the Lifts Regulations, 2002 were not subject to such requirements. The Inspection of Lifts Regulations created a dichotomy to differentiate between these two categories of lifts. However, the term ‘new’ became misleadingas ‘new’ lifts are now no longer ‘new’ as the nomenclature suggests, in the sense that a lift which was installed and put into service on 2nd July 2002 i.e some 18 years ago is also considered a ‘new’ lift under the current regulations.
In light of the foregoing, and for the sake of clarity, it is proposed that the dichotomy between ‘existing’ and ‘new’ lifts should be abolished and where the law makes reference to lifts which were not installed and put into service in accordance with the Lifts Regulations, i.e. pre-2002 lifts, it should explicitly refer to such lifts as lifts installed and put into service before 1st July 2002.
2. Scope and applicability
The current Inspection of Lifts Regulations applies to all lifts, whether existing or new that are installed in a condominium, domestic residence or workplace. In the current regulations, ‘lift’ is defined as a “lifting appliance serving specific levels, having a carrier moving along guides which are rigid and inclined at an angle of more than 15 degrees to the horizontal, intended for the transport of: persons, persons and goods or goods alone if the carrier is accessible, that is to say a person may enter it without difficulty, and fitted with controls situated inside the carrier or within reach of a person inside the carrier.”
This definition is the same as the one provided in the Lifts Regulations, with the exception that the definition of ‘lift’ in the Lifts Regulations is further qualified by a series of exclusions. For example, a lift which has an accessible carrier, but which does not have a speed greater than 0.15m/s is excluded from the scope of the Lifts Regulation. To maintain consistency with the Lifts Regulations, it is being proposed that the scope of the Inspection of Lifts Regulations be clarified and brought in line with that of the Lifts Regulations.
The Lifts Regulations also exclude from their scope lifting appliances fitted in means of transport. On the other hand, the Inspection of Lifts Regulations provide for no such exclusion, rather it provides that ‘workplace’ shall
include vehicles or vessels. In this regard, the proposed amendments exclude from the scope of these regulations lifts installed in vehicles, as these are specifically excluded from the scope of the Lifts Regulations and are specifically regulated by means of special legislation on vessels/vehicles.
To ensure coherence with the Lifts Regulations, it is also proposed that definitions in the Inspection of Lifts Regulations are assigned the same meaning as those in the Lifts Regulations. The proposed amendments also propose a deletion of certain definitions which are no longer relevant such as the definition of the ‘Malta Standards Authority’, ‘new lift’, ‘existing lift’ and ‘important modification’ whilst introducing new definitions such as for ‘maintenance contractor’, ‘serious defect’, ‘notified body’, ‘regularisation report’ and ‘decommissioning of a lift’. The definitions of preventive inspection and thorough examination are also being amended to better reflect and differentiate between their relative scope.