In 2012 the state of Texas introduced requirements for Elevator/Escalator Plan Reviews. As a result, Plan Reviews must be performed prior to an installation or alteration of all regulated elevator equipment. If you were injured in an elevator, an elevator injury attorney can explore the possibility proper protocols were not followed which resulted in your injury.
What are the Regulations for Elevator Installation and Adaption in Texas?
Before a contractor can proceed with an elevator installation or alteration of regulated equipment, they require approval from the Department of Licensing and Regulations. The contractor must submit a detailed plan explaining the installation or alteration plan for any individual location.
What is the Process for Elevator Plan Reviews?
Elevator contractors must go through a Plan Review process. The registered elevator contractor must provide the following details for review before beginning installation:
- The application form and fee
- Final layouts in compliance with requirements
- The rated speed per minute and pound capacity
- The feet and inches traveled in hand with the hoist, run or well way elevations
- Machine/control room equipment arrangement and space
- The location of the drive machine and equipment classification
For alterations, the following is required along with the form and fee:
- Explanation of the scope of work presented on formal contractor letterhead including each planned alteration
- If the changes result in changes to the driving machine location, speed, capacity, or the classification of the equipment (being changed from freight to passenger use for example) a final layout of the alterations is required
If the changes include the elevator car interior the contractor must also submit a material safety data sheet, material fire rating, and estimated weight of those materials.
Can Any of the Work Be Completed Prior to Approval?
Yes, the following three activities are typically performed prior to approval:
- Drilling a jackhole
- Running underground oil lines
- Setting foundation bolts
This is because these tasks are usually performed prior to the completion of the final drawings. However, contractors can’t install any equipment once that work is complete without the approval of the plan. Also if the contractor runs an oil line, they have to provide the pipe run location as part of their submittal. Proof the line was inspected by a registered elevator inspector and a signed notarized affidavit from the elevator contractor confirming the installation is ASME Code A17.1-3.19.5 compliant is also required.
Are There Any Alterations or Locations That Do Not Require a Plan Review?
The following items and locations do not require a Plan Review:
- Cab telephones
- Lighting installed without a new car suspended ceiling
- Elevators converted to material lifts
- Exempt locations such as private residences, federal or industrial facilities
Keep in mind that wheelchair lifts and stairway chair lifts covered by ASME Code A18.1 do require a Plan Review.
What if the Elevator was Inspected and Found Safe?
A contractor is responsible to keep a copy of their approved application at the site at all times. It must be provided to a licensed elevator inspector who cannot proceed without the approved layout drawings and approved application. If the inspection is conducted and approved without the plan, and an accident occurs, this could be the basis for a lawsuit.
If you were injured in an elevator accident, speak to an elevator injury lawyer right away. They can look for blatant compliance issues such as failure to perform the steps for a Plan Review to help establish a case.