Train Staff for Elevator Breakdowns

Train Staff for Elevator Breakdowns

If there’s an elevator in your community, it’s important that your employees know the proper steps to take if it breaks down while passengers are in it. If the employees don’t take the proper steps and passengers get injured during the breakdown, the association could get sued.

To reduce the chances of facing a lawsuit, develop elevator breakdown procedures if these aren’t already in place, and put them in a memo. The memo should focus on communication with the passengers and waiting for expert help. You can adapt and use our Model Memo below, to educate your employees.



To:         EMPLOYEES


Date:     [Insert date]

Please use the following procedures in the event that there is an elevator breakdown at our community. Please read this memo carefully and keep it handy for future use. If you have any questions, contact [insert name] in the management office at [insert tel. #].

1. Call the elevator service company. Immediately notify the elevator service company of the breakdown, at the following number: [insert tel. #]. Make sure you tell the service company the community’s address, the location of the broken down elevator, the apparent nature of the problem, and whether there are passengers stuck inside the elevator. Also, ask how long it will take a technician from the service company to arrive. Do not try to fix a broken-down elevator yourself, and do not let other staff members on the scene try to fix the elevator.

2. Reassure passengers. Promptly communicate with passengers, using the elevator’s [telephone/intercom system]. If this does not work, go to the floor nearest to where the elevator is stuck and speak loudly. Tell passengers that you know they are stuck, that you have called the service company, when a technician is expected to arrive, and that they are safe.

3. Warn passengers not to fix or exit elevator. Warn passengers not to try to fix a broken-down elevator or try to force open the doors. Remind them that they can get injured if the elevator suddenly starts moving while they are trying to exit.

4. Give passengers frequent updates. Give passengers frequent reports on the progress of the elevator repair. For example, tell the passengers when the service company technician arrives and how long the technician expects the repair to take.