Machinery Directive or Lift Regulations?

When moving people or goods, your lift will fall into either the Machinery or the Lift regulations. Whilst all are "lifts" in the general term the regulations do help to identify the key differences and ultimately identify the standards they will then fall under.  

What do the regulations say?

The Lifts Regulations 2016 applies to most goods and passenger lifts, but some products which lift people and goods are not covered (e.g. escalators and moving walkways, cableway installations designed to carry people) and fall under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. The main difference between the two directives is speed.

What happens following the exit from the EU? 

Some of the terminologies regarding lift standards have changed. The CE mark has been replaced by UKCA for goods sold in Great Britain, while businesses have till December 2021 to complete transitioning when it becomes mandatory.

The UK in order to replace the “EU Harmonised standards" has also incorporated previous regulations and directives into “Designated standards”. The details regarding the new British lift standards remain practically the same, with some changes in terminology and documentation. 

The Lifts Regulations 2016 (replaced the Lift Directive 2014/33/EU)

The Lifts Regulations 2016 (No. 1093) applies to lifts that permanently service buildings and constructions intended for the transport of — persons, — persons and goods, — goods alone if the carrier is accessible. The Lift Regulations cover any product carrying passengers with a speed of over 0.15 metres a second.

It defines a new passenger lift, including lifts installed in new and existing buildings, those installed in existing wells (in replacement of other lifts) and when the existing guide rails and their fixings (or the fixings alone) are retained. It only applies to lifts when they are first placed on the market and put into service.

The Lifts Regulations 2016 identifies a “lift” as a lifting appliance serving specific levels, having a carrier moving along guides or moving along a fixed course that is rigid. Therefore, lifts under these Regulations are typically hydraulic and traction passenger lifts or passenger/goods lifts and fall under BS EN81-7X series and the recently introduced BSEN81-20 and BSEN81-50 British standards.

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The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 (has replaced the Machinery Directive)

Since 1995 all machinery in the scope of the Machinery Directive, (now replaced with Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, 2008 No. 1597) sets out Essential Safety Requirements that all machines placed on the market in the UK have to meet.

The Supply of Machinery covers any product carrying passengers and goods with speeds inclusive of and under 0.15 metres a second. This includes escalators and moving walkways, platform lifts, goods and service lifts, and chair lifts. Each product type has its own set of standards that it falls under, for example, BS EN81-41:2010 and BS 6400: 2011 for platform lifts.

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Whilst it is helpful to understand the regulations surrounding lifts and what each product type typically falls under, whatever type of lift product you are considering the key is understanding the building requirements, the use for the lift, what you want it to carry and the number of stops (travel). 

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Last updated 7/4/2021 to reflect changes since leaving the EU.

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