The norm EN 81-80 has been released in Europe in 2003, without being compulsory, as it is intended not for new lifts (under the Lift Directive), but to existing lifts, out of the field of application of the Directive. But some European Member States, such as Belgium, France, Spain, and other, have published national laws to enforce the application of this norm, fitting it to the domestic different needs.
The norm deals with possible 74 dangerous situations which may exist on the old lifts.
The main ones, for instance, recognized in Italy are:
1) Precision of car stopping and lavelling at landings
2) Protection of the users from the movement of automatic sliding doors
3) Improvement of safety of hydraulic lifts (9 possible applicable points)
4) Blocking devices of the landing doors
5) Automatic closing of the multi-panel horizontally sliding doors
6) Safe ratio between car surface and load capacity
7) Presence of car doors
8) Inspection and stop device on the car top
9) Alarm device in the car to evacuate trapped users
Despite the indispensable preventive maintenance, it is not possible to guarantee that the lift system will be completely free from faults, which must be repaired in order to restore correct operating and safety conditions. On average, Koppel lifts are affected by less than 2 faults per year, although in specific cases this frequency depends on local environmental conditions, usage, the age of the system, and so on.
Certain faults cause the system to stop while the cabin is occupied, so that the passengers are trapped, in this case it is necessary to call the emergency services (see below).
With the exception of such urgent situations, systems are normally repaired within a day, and the average down time for a Koppel lift in the event of a fault is approximately four hours.
Taking into account the brief interruptions for preventive maintenance, Koppel lifts are in service for 99.8% of the year.
Normal market preference is for simple or ordinary contracts that only cover preventive maintenance costs, so that work carried out to repair faults, labour and spare parts are paid separately.
The parties may also draw up all-inclusive contracts, or intermediate solutions, which include all or part of any corrective maintenance costs.
Naturally, operating faults are not necessarily comparable with accidents, which, thanks to the thorough checks that are carried out on lift systems, are very rare.