Elevator Safety In Question in Ontario: Know Your Right To Compensation After an Accident - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Elevator Safety In Question in Ontario: Know Your Right To Compensation After an Accident


Ontario firefighters were called upon to rescue more than 4,000 people who were stuck in elevators last year according to news reports. Explanations for the rise in elevator mishaps range from poor maintenance and upkeep by building owners to a shortage of qualified technicians to handle the demand for service calls.

The Ministry of Labour opened an investigation last fall into the death of a Toronto hotel worker killed in an elevator accident. Tragedies such as this one highlight the risks people take each day in thousands of buildings across the country equipped with elevators which may be at risk of becoming the instruments for causing severe and catastrophic injuries leading to life-changing disabilities or death.

Victims of elevator accidents have a right to compensation

Elevators are complex pieces of equipment offering convenience to residents of apartment buildings and workers in business throughout Ontario. When they do not operate as intended, accidents can happen, including:

  • Elevators dropping several floors
  • Doors that malfunction
  • Improper leveling causing an elevator car to stop short of or go passed a floor
  • Failure of safety equipment, including emergency braking features
  • Electric shocks caused by faulty or defective wiring
  • People falling when elevator doors open without a car being there

Building owners and management companies are responsible for the safe operation of the elevators operating on their properties. A person injured in an accident caused by a poorly designed, maintained or operated elevator might have a claim for compensation against the person or entity having control over the equipment or against the company maintaining it.

Ontario law imposes rules promoting elevator safety

The Technical Standards and Safety Act of Ontario imposes minimum standards for the design, installation, operation and maintenance and servicing of several types of equipment including elevators. Among the regulations affecting owners of buildings with elevators are the following:

  • A government-issued licence must be displayed in elevators operating within the province
  • Safety inspections must be performed on elevators at least once a year
  • Owners must prepare a schedule for routine maintenance to be performed on each elevator within a building and a record of all maintenance must be kept on the premises and made available for government inspection
  • Contractors must be registered before doing elevator alterations
  • Elevators cannot be put into service following major alterations until an official inspection has been performed
  • Minor alterations to elevators require inspection within 60 days of the equipment being put back into service

Enforcement of regulations under the Technical Standards and Safety Act is the responsibility of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority of Ontario.

Violation of the rules and regulations of the Technical Standards and Safety Act could be evidence of negligence on the part of a building owner. Such evidence could be used to support a claim for damages on behalf of a victim injured in an accident involving an elevator put into service in violation of the law.

Parties responsible when elevator accidents happen

Laws such as the Technical Standards and Safety Act and the Occupiers’ Liability Act attempt to hold building owners responsible when elevator accidents are caused by their failure to maintain and repair the equipment. Others against whom claims for damages might be brought for injuries suffered by victims of elevator accidents include:

  • Property managers
  • Companies servicing or doing repairs on the elevator
  • Manufacturer of the elevator
  • The company or individual responsible for the installation of the elevator

An experienced Toronto injury lawyer can help

At Diamond and Diamond, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers understand the laws pertaining to the safe operation of elevators and work diligently to obtain outstanding results for our clients injured in elevator accidents. Contact us today by calling 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone about scheduling a free consultation and case evaluation. Someone is available to speak to you 24/7, and we represent clients throughout Ontario.

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