Over the last few months, students may have noticed that the Elevator Permits in most of the on-campus elevators have been expired. Fear not, however, as there is no need for students to be at all concerned with their elevator riding experience. Although, if you wanted to take the stairs just to be on the safe side, your physical health might not begrudge you for your caution.
Upon realizing that the elevator permits were expired in eight of the eleven elevators that The Quill was able to personally inspect, we were quick to bring the problem to administration in the hopes of keeping students well informed about the goings-on on campus. The elevators in question are located in the library (freight elevator), Brodie Building (both elevators), Clark Hall, Knowles-Douglas Centre, Queen Elizabeth II Music Building, Education Building, and the Dr. James & Lucille Brown Health Studies Complex. The Quill was unable to inspect the permit or state of the elevator located in McMaster Hall. The permits for the elevators located in the library (student elevator) and the Healthy Living Centre were found to be valid at the time of The Quill’s check.
Scott Lamont, Vice President of Administration and Finance was informed of the situation and was able to comment on the state of the elevators with information from Physical Plant. Despite the permits being expired at the time of publication, Lamont assured The Quill that Brandon University has an ongoing contract with Otis Elevators, a company which regularly inspects the elevators on campus to ensure that they are safe for use, and also perform regular maintenance on the lifts. In addition to this Otis Elevators also responds to any problems that arise in regards to the lifts, ensuring that they are back up and running as soon as possible. As Lamont stated, “the elevators are not new, but they are regularly maintained and safe.”
Vice President Internal, and KDC Board Chair, Jill Creasor also commented on the state of the elevators, specific to the elevator located in the KDC. Creasor stated that she was aware that the displayed permit had expired, but that she had been unable at the time to research further into the topic, but had contacted Physical Plant with an inquiry as to the status of the permit. “A lot of times it’s just that the [new] certificate hasn’t been posted yet, but will be.” Creasor stated, going on to note that she has experience with elevator permits and their acquisition from her time in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, Creasor states, there is a one year grace period to allow building authorities to get the elevator recertified before any fines/penalties are introduced. The Quill was unable to confirm whether or not there was a year of grace in Manitoba, and Creasor claims there is in Saskatchewan, as the information in question was not able to be easily located within any government documentation.
The acquisition of a permit requires a government inspection through the Office of the Fire Commissioner. As Lamont stated on Thursday, “this has been an ongoing issue, getting the permits issued on time.” As per The Elevator Act by the Government of Manitoba, Section 7 “No owner shall at any time cause, authorize, or permit an elevator to be operated unless there is in existence at that time a valid and subsisting permit issued in respect of that elevator.” In accordance with the stated section, there were eight elevators on campus, which were in violation of The Elevator Act. Later on in The Elevator Act, Section 14(1) states that any person or corporation, which does not comply with the outlined law may be subject to a fine, not exceeding $300 (in the case of a corporation). Section 14(2) then outlines the penalties for subsequent fines, where each subsequent fine for a corporation may warrant a fine of $100-500. Section 14(3) outlines that each day that an elevator is in operation in violation of The Elevator Act counts as a separate offence after the first violation has been found. The Elevator Act may be viewed in its entirety at web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e060e.php.
While the currently displayed permits expired in September 2016, the elevator inspector had completed all of the necessary inspections on campus in December 2016. The new permits are being processed by the Fire Commissioner’s Office, and Physical Plant hopes to have them within the next month.
Lamont also mentioned in his interview with The Quill that if any student finds themselves with accessibility concerns, they should notify Student Services, their faculty Dean, or Physical Plant so that their needs may be responded to.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 19, January 24, 2017.