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Last edited 29 May 2018
Lift Standards: EN 81-20 and EN 81-50
From the 1st September 2017, the European Committee will be enforcing two new standards for lifts. These new standards are applied to all passenger and goods passenger lifts and will affect any lift put into operation from 1st September 2017.
The changes can be categorised into three main features:
These changes affect:
- Lift doors.
- Lift cars.
- Working areas for service personnel.
- Refuge spaces.
- Passenger rescue in case of entrapment.
- Building design.
 Changes at a glance
|Machine room lighting||Minimum 200 lux at floor at work spaces
Minimum 50 lux for other spaces
|Safety Cube on Car Roof||Increased safety space for maintenance work|
|Balustrade||Improved strength and increased height of balustrade on car roof|
|Car Lighting||Minimum 100 lux at 1m above floor|
|Car||New requirements on strength of car walls|
|Doors||Increased requirements on strength of car and landing doors|
|Shaft Lighting||Minimum 50 lux in working areas|
|Inspection Control in Hoistway||Permanent inspection control station in pit|
|Safety Cube in Hoistway||Increased safety space for maintenance work|
Of course, to be safe, a lift must be strong enough to hold the weight of its passengers. All parts of the lift must meet the lift strength requirements set out by the new safety standards, including the wall, car and landing door.
This applies to all lifts, no matter their design, so lift walls made of glass must also be able to withstand shock to ensure that the integrity of the lift walls is maintained. For a rigid pendulum with a drop height of 0.5 m, it must withstand a shock of 10 kg. For a soft pendulum with a drop height of 0.7 m, it must be able to withstand a shock on 45 kg.
Doors must also withstand 300 N without permanent deformation of a minimum of 1 mm without elastic deformation of a minimum of 15 mm.
Unintended car movement can cause injury to passengers, so additional safety requirements have been stated by the new standards. This includes the extension of the ascending car overspeed and a prevention measure to prevent the car from moving from the landing.
There must also be a locking mechanism which will prevent doors from being opened from the inside. They must lock when outside of the unlocking zone as well to prevent passengers from falling into the lift shaft.
In order to prevent injury to passengers in the case of a self-rescue, there must be a car door opening restrictor and passengers must be unable to open the car door from the inside when the lift is outside of the unlocking zone.
To ensure the safety of passengers and service personnel in the case of an evacuation, the roof safety hatch must have the dimensions of 0.4 m x 0.5 m and the toe guard must withstand 300 N without permanent deformation of a minimum of 1 mm and elastic deformation of a minimum of 35 mm.
Lighting within the car has an increased minimum lux of 100 from 50. In the case of emergency lighting, it must have 5 lux for one hour and be placed at 1 m height in the centre of the car near the emergency push buttons.
 Lift material for fire resistance
- Ceiling classifications: C, s2, d0.
- Floor classifications: Cfl, s2.
- Wall classifications: C, s2, d1.
Balustrades are to withstand 1,000 N without elastic deformation of more than 50 mm. When the distance between the balustrade and the wall are between 0.3 m and 0.5 m, the height of the balustrade must be 0.7 m. If the distance between the balustrade and the wall is more than 0.5 m, the balustrade height must be 1.10 m.
Engineers must be able to access the pit through a landing door that they must be able to open from the lift shaft and exit, even when the landing door is closed. The roof must be able to withstand a force of 2,000 N on an area of 0.3 m x 0.3 m without suffering any deformations.
To ensure the safety of service personnel, there must be an emergency light for the car roof, an anti-slip working surface and a safety chain protection with the installation of a residual current protected device.
The refuge space for service personnel has also been increased. There must be a height of 0.5 m and 0.7 m x 1 m for horizontal dimensions for the lying position for the pit. There must be a height of 2 m and 0.4 m x 0.5 m for horizontal dimensions for the upright position. There must be a height of 1 m and 0.5 m x 0.7 m for horizontal dimensions for the crouching position.
The machine room must have lighting of 200 lux. In the car roof, there must be lighting of 5 lux for an hour. In working areas and vertically over the car roof, there must be a minimum of 50 lux for 1m over the pit floor. Other areas must have a minimum of 20 lux.
There must be an additional emergency stop switch in the lift pit and a control station with audio capabilities and a connection should there be a case of entrapment. This control station must be located near the refuge spaces and have a reset function outside of the lift shaft.
If a lift pit is deeper than 2.5 m, there are tighter safety requirements. Ladders must adhere to location, strength and dimension requirements and the counterweight screen in the pit must be stronger.
In the case of horizontal projections of more than 150 mm, protection must be installed to avoid them being stepped on. This excludes ledges around the pit when there is a partially enclosed lift shaft and car roof balustrades.
To ensure the correct lux levels and conditions for lift servicing, there must be an RCD for separate 230v circuits and LED lighting. A shaft switch will need to be installed to guarantee an inspection speed of 0.3 m/s.
 Passenger rescue
Trap doors should measure a minimum of 0.8 m x 0.8 m. Pulley room access doors should have a minimum height of 1.4 m and a minimum width of 0.6 m and shaft and machine room access doors should have a minimum height of 2 m and a minimum width of 0.6 m.
Shaft walls must withstand 1,000 N and proper ventilation must be accounted for in the building design. Any glass in the lift shaft must be laminated and the shaft must have a fire extinguisher. Sprinklers must also activate when the lift is stationary at landing position and the lighting circuits must turn off in the event of a fire.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Considerations When Installing a Residential Lift.
- Lift motor room.
- Lifts and Escalators: A Quality Perspective.
- Lifts and Their Special Operating Modes.
- Lifts for buildings.
- Lifts for office buildings.
- Low Pit Lifts.
- The science of lifts.
 External Sources
--Nathan Massey 10:13, 17 Jul 2017 (BST)
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