Expired elevators at Skyline

Most of the elevator permits on campus have been expired for 10 months or more, which leads some to question the safety of elevators that have missed their inspections.

In accordance with the California Code of Regulations from the Department of Industrial Relations site, Elevator Safety Orders (ESO) requires an inspection “when a device is first installed as new before it can be released for public use; when any alteration/modernization work is performed as outlined in the ESO; annually and when a device has been reactivated after being taken out of service for an extended period of time.”

Jeanne-Mairie Duval from DIR (Department of Industrial Resources) Communications said, “Elevators with expired permits are not unsafe for the public to ride if they are operating normally. For example, Cal/OSHA can hold the permit for an elevator because the light bulb in the elevator machine room is burned out. While it is required that the elevator machine room be properly lit, this deficiency would pose no danger to the riding public.”

Duval commented further: “The most important element in providing elevator safety is a contract with a competent elevator maintenance provider.”

Below is a list of the buildings with expired elevator permits:

049222 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 1)

102160 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 3)

154996 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 4)
109104 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 5)
145106 – Permit expired March 17, 2017 (Building 6)

145115 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 7)
145090 – Permit expired March 16, 2017 (Building 8)

126529 – Permit expired June 15, 2017 (Building 2)

According to Cal/OSHA records, the renewal inspection for all the above conveyances (permit numbers) was assigned to an inspector on Jan. 16.

“These inspections should be complete by the end of this month. As of today, all cars are in compliance to Section 7302 of the Labor Code,” Duval said.

The reason Skyline’s elevator permits are a year out of date is because of a backlog. Even with more inspection staff, Cal/OSHA’s elevator unit has to deal with a lot of new construction and is having trouble inspecting all the elevator units on time.

The outdated elevator permits leave some students questioning their safety on the campus elevators.

“No I do not feel safe,” said Vanessa Dubon, a psychology major. “The elevator in Building 1 is a disaster waiting to happen. It feels like the cord is going to snap any second. I’d rather take the stairs.”

Communications major Simon Salfiti agreed.

“I don’t feel comfortable…” Salfiti said. “Safety should be the number one priority for students.”

Carlos Acuna, a mechanical engineering major, said the elevator in Building 7 “was all shaking and I reported [it], but I didn’t think they did anything”.

Skyline Facilities Manager, John Doctor, said that while waiting for the Cal/OSHA inspection, “Thyssen Krupp, our certified elevator maintenance company, still completes all the required maintenance of the elevators, ensuring the safe operations.”

Even though the permits are not up to date, the school’s elevators are still in compliance with the law in accordance to Cal/OSHA Section 7302 of the Labor Code. This section is about the operation of a conveyance without a permit.

In a letter provided by Doctor sent by the elevator unit Senior ERT, Engineers Lee A. Swerri and Dave Henderson reinforce Section 7302 in which they stated, “The expired permit remains in effect and is considered valid by the division until an inspector can be dispatched to complete the inspection that is currently due. Please continue to post the existing permit in the conveyance.”

At the time this article was written, no notice was posted in the elevators of any inspection process.

This concern was brought to Doctor who said, “We should do this and we will post the state’s DIR Elevator Unit letter.”

As of March 13, 2018 they have posted that letter in the elevators.

State Code Administrator, Marjorie Cenina from Thyssen Krupp was contacted, but did not get back in time for a comment.

To make a report about maintenance or elevator behavior you can go to the SMCCCD portal: http://smccd.edu/portal/
At the bottom right is a Facilities Help center where students can generate a Work Order. The Facilities Team evaluates the WO system throughout the day.