RI Department of Labor and Training

DLT Shuts Down Two Elevators

November 28, 2012

This week, the RI Department of Labor and Training shut down passenger elevators at 55 Bradford St., Providence and 641 Bald Hill Rd., Warwick, after the owners had not complied with repeated requests to address outstanding violations. These violations had not resulted in earlier shutdowns because they were determined not to constitute imminent safety threats to the public.

Section 23-33-15 of the RI General Laws states that when a violation is discovered that does not constitute immediate danger, the department may give the elevator owner a reasonable time frame in which to correct the issue. If the violation remains outstanding beyond this time frame, the elevator will be placed out of service and its certificate of operation revoked until such time as the violation is remedied.

In late October, the department issued shut-down notices to the owners of 46 elevators in Rhode Island due to outstanding violations; these notices allowed a 30-day window for compliance. As of Monday, only two owners had failed to address the issues surrounding their violation notices. The shut-down notices were preceded this summer by 169 warning letters.
Rhode Island currently has 3,338 elevators—3,015 passenger and 323 freight—all of which are subject to annual inspection. The inspection process includes assessments of the machine room, hoistway, pit, top of car and elevator interior.  The elevator at 55 Bradford Street was first cited   for issues in its machine room back in February 2012. The elevator at 641 Bald Hill Rd. was first cited for an issue with its pit in April 2012.

Department Director Charles J. Fogarty says, “The RI Department of Labor and Training takes elevator safety seriously, and has a fair process in place that allows elevator owners adequate time to address any issues with their devices.” He adds that in early November, the department sent out first notices to owners of an additional 77 elevators with outstanding violations that do not constitute immediate danger. These violations were first identified between September and October of 2012. Fogarty warns, “Rhode Island law states that it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure an elevator complies with all safety codes and regulations. And, it is our job to enforce these rules, even if that means we must shut down some elevators.” In January, Director Fogarty launched an elevator inspection compliance campaign—the first in recent memory—that resulted in the shutting down of four elevators in Rhode Island.

Also this week, the department visited 200 Middle Rd., East Greenwich to shut down a wheelchair lift that had outstanding violations relating to the mechanism’s locks. Upon arrival, DLT staff learned that the lift had already been rendered inoperable as a safety precaution until such time as repairs could be completed.

To report an issue with an elevator, escalator, moving walk, wheelchair lift or related device, the public may contact the RI Department of Labor and Training Elevator Safety Section at (401) 462-8570.


ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov