New York City Department of Buildings

Elevator Inspections and Tests

Elevators in New York City have to be inspected at least three times every two years and tested at least once a year. Most of the inspections are performed by inspectors from the New York City Department of Buildings and private inspectors contracted by the Department. The tests are performed by private inspectors hired by the property owners and approved by the Department. We examined the inspections and tests that were performed on a random sample of 50 elevators. We found that 28 of the inspections and tests were performed late, seven were performed by inspectors who did not meet certain qualification requirements, and 19 were not properly documented.

The Department is responsible for ensuring that all elevator inspectors meet certain qualification requirements. However, Department records confirmed that only 11 of the 50 inspectors in our random sample met all their qualification requirements. For example, no professional certification was on file for one contracted inspector and examination results were not on file for 35 private inspectors who had to pass an elevator inspector examination. We noted that one of these inspectors performed 1,725 elevator tests during the 21-month period we reviewed. When required elevator inspections and tests are not performed, are performed late, or are performed by inspectors who are not fully qualified, there is an increased risk defective elevators may not be detected in a timely manner. In such instances, the safety of the public could be jeopardized. We recommended that certain actions be taken to improve the Departmentís controls over elevator inspections and tests.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-N-9 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.