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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools


FROM:            J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:             October 25, 2001


RE:                   Elevator Inspections



As you know, an eight-year-old child was killed in September in an elevator accident in Bethel, Maine.  The elevator in question did not comply with the applicable state regulations.  While this accident did not occur at a school, many of our schools have elevators and I want to take this opportunity to remind you of your statutory obligation regarding any elevators or lifts you may have in your schools.


32 M.R.S.A. § 15201 provides that elevator owners and operators are responsible for the safety and maintenance of their elevators.  School systems are the owners and/or operators of buildings that house elevators and, as such, are responsible for ensuring that their elevators are inspected on a timely basis by contracting with a private elevator inspector licensed by the state to conduct annual inspections.  The cost of the annual inspection is subject to the contract between the school and the private elevator inspector.  All elevators must have a current inspection certificate, in order to be operated lawfully.


Once an inspection has been conducted, the private elevator inspector forwards the elevator inspection report to the state (and provides a copy to the owner).  The State elevator inspector reviews the report and, if the elevator passes inspection, the State will issue a one-year inspection certificate that must be posted in the elevator. 


If an elevator fails inspection, the school must arrange for corrections to be made and notify the State’s Office of Licensing and Registration when the corrections are complete.  Only then will an inspection certificate be issued. 


If you are aware of any schools that have had elevators inspected, but the elevators have failed inspection, it is critical that the corrections be made as quickly as possible.  Any questions should be referred to John Burpee, the State’s Chief Elevator Inspector at (207) 624-8546, or Cheryl Hersom of the Office of Licensing and Registration at 624-8605. 


Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.