Retail shopping mall Bedford Centre maintenance manager Martin Hoffmann says that companies involved in the retail shopping centre’s vertical transportation units, such as its escalators and lifts, are committed to ensuring the safety of the users of these units.
“The Bedford Centre, in Ekurhuleni, has a three-year maintenance contract with the different companies that install the escalators and elevators, which includes a monthly inspection. As a result, the equipment in the centre is always up to standard and safe to use,” he adds.
The Machinery and Occupational Safety Act 6 of 1983 states that the owner of vertical transportation units must adhere to a maintenance contract. This contract should be signed with a suitably qualified lift maintenance company, which will maintain and upgrade the units.
When a system is installed, most of the installation companies have a free maintenance programme for the first 12 months. When the contract ends, a new monthly maintenance contract is signed with the installation company to continue its maintenance services.
Commercial and real estate development company and owner of the Bedford Centre the HBW group contracted installation company Melco Elevator for the installation of two new escalators in its piazza, when the centre underwent an expansion, adding an additional lifestyle component to the centre, in 2008.
“We have also recently cleaned the escalators positioned in the middle of the centre. The installation company responsible for maintaining the escalators informs the centre on a regular basis that there are certain components that need to be replaced, such as the step chains that keep the escalators running.
“The installation companies also offer different contracts to suit the needs of the client. There is an A contract, which is fully comprehensive, including the labour and equipment, a C contract, which caters for the labour involved in the maintenance only and a B contract, which combines the A and C contracts.
“With most new equipment installed, an A contract is taken out as it provides the full service spectrum, but, in older equipment, there is often a C contract involved,” Hoffmann explains.
He adds that when the components are replaced, it also provides an opportunity to inspect the whole machine, while simultaneously lubricating, tweaking and steam-cleaning it.
Hoffmann also says that the elevators leading to the office are serviced monthly, which is required by law. “The lifts’ sheaths need replacing. These lifts are designed in Brazil and the com- pany responsible have ordered the required parts, which left Brazil in the first week of September. Only when the installation company is satisfied with the parts, will they install on site,” he concludes.