The Voice of the Lift, Escalator and Moving Walk Industry in Europe

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2019 was a year that brought new challenges, responsibilities and opportunities to both the lift industry and property owners and managers, as well as lift operators.

New obligations resulted from the Regulation of the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology of October 30, 2018 on the technical conditions for the technical supervision relating to the operation, repair and modernization of handling equipment (Journal of Laws of 2018 of November 21, 2018, item 2176).

New opportunities resulted from the Governmental programme "Accessibility Plus" and the Accessibility Fund created in the last quarter of the year on the basis of the Act of 19 July 2019 on ensuring accessibility for people with special needs (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1696).

In addition, the housing market continued to boom for several years, maintaining a steady increase in the number of passenger lifts installed for several years.


The Regulation of the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology imposed a number of obligations on operating handling equipment, including obligations related to service life analysis. The usability period is the theoretically or experimentally determined service life of the device. It is assumed that safety and performance are guaranteed during this period.

The operator has been obliged to:

  • § 7.4. Where the course of operation of handling equipment is not recorded for reasons beyond the operator’s control, said operator shall recreate it on the basis of current technical knowledge and good engineering practice.
  • § 7.5. Where the service life of handling equipment is not known, the operator shall determine it on the basis of current technical knowledge and good engineering practice.

In case of lack of information on the course of handling equipment’s operation, such information should be obtained based on adopted assumptions, standards, recognized technical specifications, guidelines from manufacturers of similar equipment or applicable regulations. The situation described here mainly concerns devices:

1. a) for which operation, work time or work cycles performed by handling equipment had not been previously registered;

2. b) equipment purchased on the secondary market that has no operating history.

The adopted assumptions regarding the assumed course of operation must be specified in the presented documents, taking into account the requirements referred to in the regulation, and explanations regarding this aspect.

  • § 7.6. Where the service life is surpassed, the operator shall conduct a technical assessment of handling equipment or shall commission such an assessment.

It is permissible, if the handling equipment service life is exceeded, to order the appropriate actions related to the assessment of the technical condition of handling equipment to a competent person defined in the explanations to § 2. The assessment of the technical condition may require the participation of a laboratory. In this case, the required tests should be carried out by Main Laboratory of Technical Supervision or a laboratory recognized by the Polish Office of Technical Inspection, in accordance with the provisions on technical supervision.

The Office of Technical Inspection has developed and published two editions of the Guidelines to support the interpretation and application of the abovementioned Regulation together with an interactive template for analysis of the service life of electrical and hydraulic lifts.

The PALM’s Working Group on interpretation of regulations has also worked out its position, which has been handed over to the lift industry and lift operators in Poland.

Operators of lifts had one year to carry out the analysis of the service life from the cyclic inspection of the lift carried out by technical inspection.

Within around a year (depending on the date of the last lift inspection) more than 100,000 analyses of the service life of operated lifts had to be carried out in Poland.

Most of these analyses were performed by employees of lift companies, lift conservators and lift consultants.

The lift manufacturer is required to attach to the lift documentation a service life analysis for new lifts installed in Poland after the entry into force of the above Regulation.

In the case that the handling equipment or mechanism has exceeded its service life, the operator should:

  1. carry out or arrange for a special survey – technical assessment
  2. document the activities carried out as part of the special survey;
  3. insofar as the results of the special inspection indicate that, perform a major overhaul of the device or mechanism as indicated in the documentation of the special inspection.

The scope of the special inspection, unless specified by the manufacturer of the device in the documentation, should be determined by a competent person.

A technical assessment of the lifts covers all elements that affect the safe operation of the device or mechanism, in particular:

a) supporting structure;
b) mechanical assemblies;
c) electrical systems;
d) safety systems;
e) hydraulic systems;

However, the activities carried out during the assessment of the technical condition of the device or mechanism should include:

a) a review of the device or mechanism and associated equipment depending on whether the service life has been achieved by the device or mechanism;
b) measurements of the device geometry along with measurements of the load-bearing structure deformation with the measurement method and estimated measurement errors;
c) checking the condition of detachable joints at the tightening moments of bolted joints;
d) performing non-destructive tests, e.g. inseparable joints, gripping elements;
e) verification of the gear condition with the necessary measurements of clearances, radial runout, assessment of shafts for possible fatigue cracks etc.;
f) measuring the thickness of load-bearing elements in places where corrosion occurs, together with an assessment of the impact on the strength of the structure.

A performance of service life analyses and technical assessment required additional costs for lift operators, i.e. mostly housing cooperatives and housing associations.

A positive effect resulting from the Regulation was to stimulate lift users and lift owners to a deeper interest in the technical condition of their equipment and pressure to modernize or replace the lifts with a new one.

The obligation to carry out the analyses and reviews introduced by the above regulation should be supplemented with a recommendation to use the EN 81-80: 2019 standard to assess the hazardous situations by old lifts.


The “Accessibility Plus” Programme is based on three main premises:

  • First of all, it is rooted in the principle of the state’s subsidiarity towards all social groups. Among us there are people with various kinds of disabilities, seniors, people experiencing a temporary health detriment or physical fitness. For all of them – but also for ourselves in the future – we have to build accessible and friendly space and good living conditions.
  • Secondly, the Programme is a consequence of the sustainable development policy. This policy indicates that social development is a key factor of support for the economic progress. It generates innovations and resources for its creation.
  • Thirdly, the Programme results from the assessment of social and physical reality. People with disabilities and seniors constitute a significant part of our society, they live in families and local communities next to us, every day use the same services and products. This is why the public space requires a substantial conversion in order to equally serve all its users. The idea is to take actions today with an eye towards the future with a better quality of life for everyone.

The Programme includes investments in the existing public utility buildings and multi-family housing stock and space. These investments include the addition of lifts to existing buildings. 

The implementation of the Programme is enabled by the Act of 19 July 2019.

Article 6. of this Act states: “The minimum requirements to ensure the accessibility for persons with specific needs shall include:

1) with regard to the architectural accessibility:

a) ensuring barrier-free vertical and horizontal communication spaces within buildings;

b) installing devices or making use of technical resources or architectural solutions within a building which will ensure the accessibility of all rooms, excluding the technical ones,”

In order for the necessary investments related to this to be able to benefit from state aid, the Accessibility Fund was created and an indicated financial institution will manage the financial resources of this Fund

Article 35.

1. of this Act states: “The Accessibility Fund, hereinafter referred to as the "Fund", shall be a state special fund in the meaning of the Act of 27 August 2009 on public finances.

2. The Fund shall be managed by the minister competent for regional development.

3. The funds of the Fund shall be spent for performing the tasks related to supporting the activities aimed at ensuring the accessibility for persons with specific needs or for enhancing the accessibility, in particular in public-utility buildings and in multi-family residential buildings”.

Article 37.

1. of this Act states: “The minister competent for regional development shall transfer the funds of the Fund to a separate bank account kept by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, which shall be spent for financing:

1) loans or credits, including the preferential ones;
2) loans or credits with the option of partial redemption;
3) costs of granting and processing the support measures mentioned in points 1 and 2.

2. Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego shall manage the funds mentioned in par. 1 and shall act as a coordinator for the implementation of the support measures mentioned in par. 1”.
Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego has launched a special website from which building owners can download documents enabling them to apply for financing the construction of additional lifts.

Investments can be financed with a loan granted on very attractive terms and with additional subsidy up to 50% from the State Fund of Rehabilitation of Handicapped People.

The first projects have already been approved for implementation.


New legal regulations in Poland have a positive impact on the modernization of operated lifts and the opening of the huge market for the addition of lifts to thousands of three, four-story buildings that have not been equipped with lifts before.

At the same time, the dynamically developing construction of new multi-family residential houses contributes to the continuous increase in the number of new lifts installed for several years. This increase exceeded 10% in 2019.

These possibilities make the Polish market more and more attractive to lifts manufacturers.

The lift manufacturers will be able to meet investors during the EURO-LIFT 2020 Fair, which will take place on October 14-15, 2020 in Poland.