Reprinted from ASME A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-07, by permission of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. All rights reserved.
New product design
When an elevator designer proposes a new elevator system, that system must
be reviewed and approved by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) for
compliance with the elevator safety code. Using the 2007 version of ASME
A17.1/CSA B44 an elevator system can take two different paths to approval
by the AHJs.
Entire system satisfies ASME A17.1/CSA B44 requirements?
The first step in the approval process is to determine if the system satisfies
the elevator safety requirements as prescribed by the 2007 version of ASME
A17.1/CSA B44. If the entire system is in compliance with the ASME A17.1/CSA
B44 code then the elevator can be installed following current practices.
If all or part of the system uses technology that does not meet the prescribed
requirements of ASME A17.1/CSA B44 (new technology) then the elevator design
must be approved using the process set forth in ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7, the
Performance Based Code for Elevator Safety (PBC).
Partly satisfies ASME A17.1/CSA B44 requirements?
Elevators are sophisticated systems that use a wide range of mechanical and
electrical components. Because of this, many systems will have some components
that utilize new technology and some components that are based on current
technology. Current technology which is already covered under the 2007 version
of ASME A17.1/CSA B44 continues to be acceptable as it complies with the
requirements in this code, while new technology will be required to comply
with the requirements in the PBC.
Identify ASME A17.1/CSA B44 compliance
Systems which are partly compliant with ASME A17.1/CSA B44 must be reviewed
to determine which specific components are compliant with that safety code
and which components must comply with the PBC.
Identify applicable GESRs
Once it has been determined which of the elevator system components need to
be reviewed under the PBC, then the next step is to identify which of the
Global Essential Safety Requirements (GESRs) apply to those components. Each
GESR states only the safety objective, or "what" must be done or accomplished
but not "how" to accomplish the objective. When identifying applicable GESRs,
the elevator designer reviews the design and installation of the elevator
system and considers all possible safety exposures in order to identify which
GESRs are applicable to the design. Once the GESRs are identified, compliance
must be assessed.
Perform Risk Assessment (RA)
To assess compliance with GESRs and to establish the ability of an elevator
system to eliminate or sufficiently mitigate a risk, a risk assessment of
all of the possible risk scenarios related to the relevant GESRs is be performed.
A balanced, qualified risk assessment team is then established to evaluate
events that could lead to harm. Risk scenarios are formulated by describing
possible hazardous situations and determining their causes and effects, including
any possible degree of harm. The risk assessment of a scenario is followed
by the process of risk estimation and evaluation. The estimated risk determines
whether further protective measures must be taken.
Identify Safety Parameters (SPs) & other protective measures
As long as a risk reduction measure is assessed as not acceptable, the designer
is required to continue to improve the design to eliminate the risk or to
implement other protective measures to sufficiently mitigate the risk until
all the applicable GESRs have been fully complied with.
The determination that a risk has been sufficiently mitigated sometimes requires
that specific Safety Parameter (SP) values established by the PBC are achieved.
These SPs include measurable qualities such as reliability, strength, and
durability. Where an SP is different than specified, the risk analysis must
demonstrate that an equivalent safety level has been achieved.
Code Compliance Documentation (CCD)
Once the GESRs have been identified, the risk assessments performed, and the
safety principles and protective measures have been applied to eliminate
or mitigate the risks of the elevator design; a CCD must be produced for
each elevator system or component. The CCD includes a description of the
elevator system and identifies those components of the system which are compliant
with ASME A17.1/CSA B44 and those which are being addressed by the PBC. For
the components being assessed under the PBC, the CCD includes all technical
documentation necessary to demonstrate conformity; a list of applicable GESRs;
the risk assessment report; and all procedures for inspections, tests, maintenance,
and repairs for the system.
AECO reviews application
In order to receive a Certificate of Conformance the elevator designs must
be reviewed and approved by Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organizations
(AECOs). An AECO is an independent organization concerned with product safety
evaluation. AECOs must be accredited by the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) or the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
AECO verifies conformance?
Before certifying an elevator system, the AECO examines all technical documentation
provided by the designer, including the risk analysis and CCD, to verify
that the system meets all applicable GESRs. The AECO will then perform tests
as necessary to determine that the elevator meets all of the requirements
of the safety code as specified in the CCD. If the AECO finds that the elevator
design is not acceptable and refuses to issue a Certificate of Conformance,
it is required to state detailed grounds for refusal. The elevator design
would then return to the beginning of the process to correct the issues identified
by the AECO.
Certificate of Conformance Issued
When the AECO confirms that the elevator system conforms to the applicable
requirements of the PBC, the AECO issues a Certificate of Conformance to
the elevator designer. The Certificate of Conformance and all related documents
are then forwarded to the AHJ for final acceptance. The AECO is required
to keep records of all Certificates of Conformance which have been issued
Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
Final approval of all elevator systems remains the responsibility of the appropriate AHJ for each location in which the elevator is being proposed for installation. The AHJ will review all elevator systems that conform to ASME A17.1/CSA B44 entirely as well as all systems that have received a Certificate of Conformance from an AECO under the PBC. When reviewing new elevator systems, the AHJ may choose to review all documentation from the AECO review process, including the CCD for the elevator design. The AHJ has no obligation to accept the Certificate of Conformance or any of the recommendations from the AECO. Please note that the exact regulatory review process is outside the scope of ASME A17.1/CSA B44.
With the completion of the review process, the elevator design is approved
for installation by the AHJ. This structured review process ensures that
new, safe, and efficient technology can be applied to elevator designs in
new buildings as well as existing structures to provide safe, fast, and efficient