Passenger and platform lifts are an essential mode of transport for many people, some people simply cannot get up or down a building without them so they are critical building assets. All passenger carrying lifts will have a capacity limit for how many passengers can ride in a lift at a time, however these limits you’ll see shown inside the lifts do not account for Covid-19 and the current social distancing measures the government have put in place.
There will be many buildings throughout the UK which are still locked down, but there are many essential buildings which have remained open throughout the pandemic requiring the use of their lifts. Now that the government have allowed more businesses to re-open there are more and more industries re-opening their buildings as time progresses.
We understand that building owners and managers will be very conscious of the lifts in their buildings and the risks relating to Covid-19. Lifts are obviously enclosed spaces where microbes can potentially spread, so building owners and managers should ensure that social distancing practices are in place in their lifts.
We want to share some useful tips on safe lift use whilst social distancing.
High Contact Areas
In order to avoid the spread of microbes we advise that people travelling in a lift should try to avoid any direct contact with the typically high contact areas of a lift. High contact areas include landing buttons, lift buttons and handrails which were typically touched a lot under normal circumstances pre-Covid-19.
In order to avoid any direct contact, we would advise you to wear a disposable glove if possible when travelling in a lift. If that’s not possible then try to use an object you might be carrying to push the buttons, for example the end of a pen, this would be more advisable than having your bare fingers make direct contact with the lift buttons.
If you do need to use your bare hands then please remember to wash them immediately before and after your use of the lift.
Maintain Social Distancing
It is very important that people continue to maintain the social distancing guidelines when entering inside a lift. People travelling in a lift should also wear a mask or some form of face covering to limit the spread of respiratory droplets inside the lift.
It would always be best to travel inside a lift on your own, but it is acceptable to travel with others so long as it’s possible to maintain a safe distance throughout your travel in the lift. Many building owners/managers have put appropriate signage inside their lifts identifying where to stand safely at the necessary distance from others (as pictured).
If a safe distance cannot be maintained with others already inside the lift then you should either wait for the next lift or use the stairs if you can.
If travelling inside a lift with others it would certainly be advisable to avoid talking as this could increase the risk of infectious droplets spreading inside the lift.
It has always been advisable to regularly clean the lift surfaces, but we would certainly recommended that the cleaning efforts are increased on the lift surfaces to help reduce the spread of infection.
Not only should the high contact areas be cleaned and disinfected, but also other surfaces including the car walls, doors, mirrors and other surfaces. Whilst the high contact areas may have had the most direct contact from users, it’s possible that droplets could end up on any surface inside the lift car. For example, consider if people talk, sneeze or cough inside a lift car then droplets could be anywhere in the lift.
What about non-passenger carrying lifts?
There are non-passenger carrying lifts such as goods lifts or hoists which may not require the same level social distancing practices as they do not carry passengers. However, it is still critical to be aware of how non-passenger carrying lifts may also be affected by Covid-19. Whilst such lifts may only carry goods, there may actually be multiple people using the same lift to transport goods, therefore building owners/managers still need to strongly consider what measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in ALL lifts.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about your lifts and how we might be able to help then please contact our office and speak to a member of our team.
Throughout the pandemic UK Lift and Escalator has remained operational as we support many key buildings who still needed our support during the pandemic, possibly more than ever. These buildings include hospitals, care homes, logistics warehouses, transport buildings and many other buildings that have been key during the pandemic. We have continued to provide key maintenance, 24/7 call out and repair services to ensure these key buildings have had their lifts operational during these unprecedented times.
As restrictions are now being lifted throughout the UK more and more buildings are regularly reopening, so we’d like to remind building owners and managers that we’re here to help whenever you need us.
We wish everyone the very best during these difficult times.