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Emergency Lift Passenger Rescue or Release Training – Your Questions Answered

What is the legal position regarding lift trapped passenger release/rescue?

– Under the Lift Operating and Lift Equipment Regulations (LOLER) there is a duty on owners/operators of lifts to ensure that provision is made for the safe release of trapped passengers in lifts.

– The Health and Safety Executive is a good source for understanding more about your legal obligations in relation to passenger lifts. HSE Passenger Lifts and Escalators

What as a lift owner/operator should you be doing to satisfy the obligations under LOLER?

Suitable arrangements for the routine release of people trapped in lifts include:

– Ensuring there are suitable communications in lifts so that a person trapped inside can clearly see how to raise the alarm and be reassured that help is on its way

– Ensuring the emergency lighting in the lift car is working correctly.

– Providing trained staff able to release people who are shut in a lift – lifts must be risk assessed and staff must be properly trained before being authorised to carry out lift releases or… Providing a lift release service through a lift engineering or similar company

– Distributing information to lift users so that they know what to do if they get trapped in a lift

What about the local Fire Brigade, can I call them to help with passengers trapped in a lift?

– Firemen do not have a legal obligation to release trapped lift passengers and Fire Brigades are moving away from attending calls as a first response – unless it is a real emergency, as it is an unnecessary drain on resource which could be used to attend more essential emergencies.

– Some Fire Brigades charge for being called out if there are an excessive number of calls. See page 4 of the Lift and Escalator Industry Newsletter ‘In Focus’ for the background to this.

Why does my lift maintenance company refuse to undertake safe lift passenger release training?

– It may seem odd, when the lift company that is maintaining the equipment refuse to carry out passenger release training, but there are many lift companies that will not offer this service.

– Mostly, the reason behind their refusal is that they do not want to be liable if an incident occurs as a result of the method they have undertaken during the passenger release training.

– To mitigate that liability they would need to have the correct procedures in place to ensure that lift passenger release training is only carried out by suitably competent and experienced personal and that the training follows the correct procedures.

– For whatever reasons, many lift companies are not willing to set up the correct procedures to offer safe lift passenger release training.

What are the advantages of having properly trained personnel?

– This goes towards satisfying your obligations under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

– Rapidity of Response: If you have your own staff on site, they can attend to passengers trapped in lifts almost immediately.

– The maintenance contract you have with your lift servicing company may or may not provide for responses to lift trap-ins. If they do, they will almost certainly have qualifying terms like ‘best endeavours’ to meet those response times. This is understandable to some degree as there may be influences outside of their control e.g. traffic hold-ups.

What is the definitively correct procedure for correct Lift Passenger Release Training?

– In the UK this is detailed in British Standard 7255:2001. Pertinent clauses of that Standard are given below.

Clause 4.1.3: All persons who are authorised to carry out safe release of trapped passengers should receive specific training.

Clause 4.1.4: The competency of those trained should be documented and assessed annually. The competencies achieved and the type of equipment the training was carried out should be documented.

Clauses 4.8 and sub clauses: This deals with general procedures for the safe release procedures.

Does The Lift Consultancy training follow BS7255:2001?

– Our training is fully in accordance with this Standard

How many personnel can be trained at each session and how long does the training take place?

– We will train up to 6 people per session. This is because there is often limited room in plant areas or machinery spaces and part of the training involves a demonstration of procedures. With too many training delegates the demonstration may not be affective.

– Depending on how many people are in the session and how many lifts are being trained on, the session usually will last typically 3 to 4 hours.

What does the training involve and will certificates be issued?

– The training goes through four stages. The first stage is classroom based, the second is a demonstration of the procedures on the equipment, the third stage is when the delegates carry out the training supervised by the trainer and finally, there is a test to confirm that delegates understand the main points relating to their training.

– Individual certificates are issued to each delegate, detailing the training that has been undertaken and the type and specific designation of individual lifts they have competence to carry out safe lift passenger release on.

How soon can training be carried out?

– If it is half or a day’s training we can usually organise this within 7 to 10 days.

– Training for more delegates and/or on greater numbers of lifts/sites may take longer to organise. If you can send us details we will let you know.

I think I would like to proceed, what do I do next?

– Please get in contact with us – there is a contact form on our Contact Us page – letting us know the number of trainee delegates and the location, number and type of lifts to be trained on. We can then assess how long the training will take.

– We will then email you within 24 hours, if not the same day, a training proposal detailing the extent of the training and the cost and how soon we are available carry it out.

– Simply sign and return a copy of the proposal and we will arrange a date.

If you have any further questions please contact us on

145-147 St John’s Street, London, EC1V 4PY, 020 7118 8401


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