When it comes to having an elevator maintained or simply dealing with elevator repairs, many building owners opt go with a service contract from the elevator company. The technicians who are dispatched to handle maintenance and repair calls know the elevator well, having gone through the training required by the elevator company.
Another option that building owners might decide to take is to go with an in-house maintenance staff that will be familiar with the patterns of the building, the traffic, and the elevators themselves. They will be able to specialize in that specific building’s elevators.
Some of the basic maintenance tasks that do not require anyone more than a custodian are tasks such as changing the light bulbs and the general light cleaning that needs to be done. Anything more than that really does require someone with a great deal of experience with elevators in general and with the model elevator being worked on, to be specific.
While there are currently no licensing requirements in some states, other states are taking it upon themselves to write licensing requirements. Most often, these requirements have to do with safety standards, not only for the elevator itself, but also for the workers. It is the workers who become the victims of the most accidents when it comes to elevators. Over half of the fatal accidents involving elevators also involve maintenance workers.
If you’re a building owner looking to ensure that you’re getting a qualified contractor, the first thing you could look for is participation in the National Elevator Educational Program (NEIEP). This is a co-op between the International Union of Elevator Contractors and the manufacturers of elevators.
Another education-based option is participation in the NAEC's Certified Elevator Technician (CET) program. There are also some metrics that can be looked at, such as average units per mechanic, response time and preventative maintenance time assigned.
Elevators that experience heavy use on a daily basis can still be expected to have a life span of several decades. During that time, however, major changes can take place regarding what the codes require. When an elevator lasts that long and the codes change the way the do, having a technician on staff, either in-house or on a service contract, will make the upkeep of the elevator go much more smoothly than if you have someone come in who is not familiar with the model or the codes themselves.