A maintenance control program (MCP) is needed because the TSSA (the Technical Standards and Safety Authority) has legislated that every building owner, who has one or more elevating devices in their building, must have an MCP in place by April 1, 2014. Failure to do so will result in TSSA’s regular enforcement actions which include: writing orders, levying fees and fines and, shutting the elevator(s) down.
Who does the MCP apply to?
The MCP requirements apply to every building owner, who has one or more elevating devices in their building that falls under the CAN/CSA B44 Elevator Safety Code. This includes all Passenger and Freight Elevators, Freight Lifts, LULAs, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Moving Walks. An MCP is not required for accessibility devices that fall under the CAN/CSA B355 Lifts for Persons with Physical Disabilities Safety Code. The existing log book requirement for these accessibility devices remains unchanged.
Why haven’t I heard about this?
This is a common question to the elevator industry. TSSA has, however, been quite diligent in trying to get this information out to building owners. A new North American Elevator Safety code was published in 2010 and it included the new MCP requirements. When the 2010 Safety Code was first adopted in Ontario with an effective date in May 2012, the implementation of the MCP portion was delayed by an additional 12 months to allow building owners and their elevator contractors to get things into place by May of 2013. There was then an extension to January 1, 2014. As this rather optimistic deadline came close, it became apparent that a bit more time was needed for most of the industry to implement the MCP. The deadline was then extended to March 31, 2014.
TSSA has also published and distributed a number of newsletters to all elevator stakeholders which included insightful information on the upcoming MCP requirements. TSSA has also communicated the requirements through their web site and various associations and organizations that they connect with.
How can I get this done in time?
Fortunately for most building owners, many elevator contractors started significant MCP development work from 1 to 2 years ago. Most contractors have been working on developing basic MCP documents that dovetail well with their standard maintenance procedures. These basic MCP documents must then be customized and often enhanced to each individual elevating device before they are sold to the building owner and implemented by the elevator maintenance contractor at the location of the elevating device(s)
How much should an MCP cost?
Each contractor must decide how to cover the costs of producing the basic MCP documents and then the costs of customizing the MCP for each elevator in each building. On average, for the more standard elevating devices, the work is taking a few hours. With billing rates in the industry in $200 to $350 per hour range, this is a costly process. Some contractors are choosing to absorb a portion of these costs and only passing some of the true costs on to the building owners since each customer – supplier relationship is unique.
Will my regular monthly maintenance costs change?
In some cases yes and in some cases no. There are approximately 3 times as many mandatory tests and checks which must now be done. There are also a few fairly labour intensive tasks and checks, where the frequency can be reduced somewhat. In some cases the net effect of these changes will keep the costs the same, but some elevator owners will definitely see an increase due to the nature of their existing equipment, the particulars of the previous service agreement and the approach selected to implement the MCP.
Will there be other surprises?
Almost all owners will see an amortized increase or an additional charge for some of the new annual and 5-year tests, which are now required. The largest cost here involves some 5-year full-load testing where test weights, totalling or exceeding the capacity of the elevator, must be carried into the elevator to perform some testing. Since full-load testing has often never been done since the elevators were first installed, some elevator equipment will fail, or be damaged by this mandatory testing. The elevator owners will have to bear the costs for repairing or replacing the non-conforming equipment.
As usual, with the implementation of new legislation, there will be some differences of interpretation between individual elevator contractors and individual elevator inspectors which will take some time to reach a level of relative consistency. To minimize this inevitable confusion, many contractors have submitted their basic MCP programs to TSSA for comments and filing.
In conclusion, the implementation of Maintenance Control Programs will be a challenging and busy time for elevator contractors and owners. If this process is done well, it should result in safer and more reliable elevators, which is a win for all Ontarians.