Volume 65  |  Spring 2011

“Elevators VS Generators – Best Practice"

by Ben Myers, BOC I, Samaritan Healthcare Director, Plant Services. Moses Lake, WA

It’s always nice when you can spend a few minutes with an inspector, whether it’s the Building Inspector, Joint Commission surveyor, or your neighborhood elevator inspector. The relationship you build and information you mine from their gray matter can be gold.

Case in point, the State Labor & Industries office assigned a new elevator inspector to us here at Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake. He’s fresh from code school, and he enlightened us on a test that we’d never considered for our hospital: Testing the fire recall during the generator test.

There are two phases of the Fire Department elevator controls. Phase A refers to operating the fire department switch at the elevator lobby. This calls the elevator to that landing. Phase B refers to turning the switch inside elevator to the “Fire Department Control” position and operating the elevator. In this mode, every control must be held. To close the door, press and hold the “Door Close” button until it’s fully closed. To go to another floor, press and hold the number until the elevator stops moving. To open the door, press and hold the “Door Open”. To annoy the nurses, press and hold the “Alarm” button.

During the generator test (and while the elevators are on emergency power), perform both Phase A & B to verify the elevator functions while on generator power. Document the completion of the test on your PM and have it available for the inspector’s next visit.

The elevator inspector claims it’s an annual requirement but hasn’t been able to provide the code reference, which is why we’re calling this a “Best Practice” at this time.

Ben Myers, BOC I
Samaritan Healthcare
Director, Plant Services
Moses Lake, WA
[August 11, 2011]

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