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Elevator and Escalator Consulting Engineers

Maintenance Control Program

Reference: Information Bulletin - Maintenance Control Program (MCP) Owner Responsibilities

Introduction
The recent edition of the ANSI A17.1/B44 standard, the North American harmonized code for escalators and elevators, introduced new requirements for maintenance practices.  In addition to the usual incremental updates the code now requires a Maintenance Control Program be in place for every regulated elevating device.
 
What is it?
Maintenance is currently performed and recorded based on generic log books or owner’s manuals identifying systems requiring inspection (doors, safety devices etc.), frequencies and procedures specific only to the type of device (ie. hydraulic elevator).  The Maintenance Control Program requires a more comprehensive “manual” that is specific to each particular elevating device in the building.  
 
The MCP is defined as a document containing “...general instructions for maintenance...” and needs to include:
 
periodic maintenance tasks required by the OEM
service request procedures
device-unique procedures (i.e. a remote governor test, hydraulic pressure test, etc)
annual safety tests
 
The goal of the MCP is to provide open access to all the specific information needed by field and inspection personnel at the site. This is viewed as important given the number of different vertical transportation designs and their increasing complexity.
 
To whom does this apply? Is it ‘retroactive’?
In Ontario, the MCP document now applies to all regulated devices. New devices installed today must be provided with an MCP before turnover. Existing devices must also be provided with an MCP by March 2014. It is likely that the enactment into law of the document will extend to other jurisdictions in the coming years.
 
Background
Over the past decade there has been a drive to improve the reliability and performance of in-building vertical transportation systems. The impetus for this trend has been the increasing reliance placed on elevators and escalators by designers, builders and real estate managers. Buildings are taller, transit time is costly, everything is moving faster and people are not inclined to tolerate delays.
 
Certainly these factors have an impact on residential buildings - in particular with the new high rise condominium developments in the city core - but perhaps more importantly pressure is placed on office buildings with performance evaluated relative to neighbouring
buildings but also absolutely as a figure of merit for staff efficiency for the tenant. It is thus not unexpected that the elevator industry is generating standards for maintenance that aim to go beyond prior requirements and improve regular maintenance and troubleshooting.
 
The Maintenance Control Program is the new requirement to provide a thoughtful and specific maintenance, inspection and testing program but it has not been widely adopted yet. The Ontario TSSA Code Adoption Document (CAD) is proceeding with adoption of this section of the new code.
 
It is altogether likely that similar steps will be taken in other jurisdictions but in any case an understanding of the MCP is key for building professionals. Even in those areas where it is not mandated by law the procedures and practices outlined in the document should improve the operation and reliability of the vertical transportation plant.
 
Of concern from a risk perspective is the potential for the new MCP requirements to be viewed as a standard in North America regardless of whether the local jurisdiction has fully adopted them into law. In future legal cases ensuing from accidents the courts may find the owner at fault if all steps were not taken to meet not only the locally mandated requirements but also those that are, in effect, recommended by their inclusion in the North American harmonized safety code. 
 
What should I do next?
For buildings in Ontario the MCP document for each elevating device needs to be present at the site by March 31, 2014. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that this is done and a letter should be sent to the maintenance contractor requiring confirmation that the program is in place. The owner must have the documents related to the program on file and current. These documents may be checked by the regulating authority at any time.
 
For buildings outside Ontario it is a wise policy to request from your maintenance provider written assurance that the contractor is following the new code requirements including the Maintenance Control Program, even if not mandated. The response submitted should be filed for possible future reference
 
For assistance and additional information please contact your KJA consultant or call one of our offices: 
 
KJA Vancouver: 604.681.9294
KJA Calgary: 403.266.1236
KJA Edmonton: 780.420.1389
KJA Toronto: 416.961.3938
KJA Ottawa: 613.238.5128
KJA Montreal: 514.284.3119