What is an Elevator Hoistway?
In 1880, the first electric elevator was invented, and in 1889, the first commercially successful elevator was installed. Although elevators have evolved throughout the ages, they are still a popular alternative to stairs over a century after their invention. But many people do not quite understand how elevators work.
If you have been considering a commercial hoistway elevator system for your building, you may have some questions. Continue reading to learn what an elevator hoistway is, along with other pertinent information.
What Is An Elevator Hoistway?
If you are not familiar with an elevator hoistway, you may be familiar with the term elevator shaft. These two terms are interchangeable and refer to the same thing.
A hoistway is a shaft built to allow an elevator to move between the floors of a building. Their construction also allows the necessary components of the room they need to function.
For example, the hoistway will allow room for equipment that accesses doors to open or close. A hoistway will generally have strategic access points for the safety of riders in the event of a mechanical error or failure. Elevator mechanics can use these access points during repairs.
How Can You Get Access To Hoistways?
You can get access to hoistways through one or two general methods, depending on the design plans. All elevators have hoistway doors, while some elevators also contain additional access points.
Hoistway doors are the sliding doors that separate the elevator shaft from the floor landing on the other side. The doors remain closed for safety reasons unless the elevator is directly on the other side, inside the hoistway.
Some elevators will also contain additional access points, which can look different depending on the construction plans. These extra access points are designed for use by elevator mechanics. The mechanics will use these points when they need to do routine maintenance or repairs of the various elevator parts. In cases of emergencies, riders will use these access points. An example of an emergency is a total mechanical failure, which is very rare.
How Can You Stay Safe When Accessing an Elevator Hoistway?
Most people should not be directly accessing an elevator hoistway. Instead, trained professionals should be doing all routine maintenance and repairs since an elevator shaft can be dangerous. However, anyone who has to access an elevator hoistway for any reason should follow these safety tips:
- Wear a hardhat or comparable head covering
- Be aware of where all elevator cars are at all times
- Avoid climbing beneath any elevator car, if at all possible
- Follow all local regulations and safety rules
- If possible, post signage that someone will be inside the elevator hoistway (which may not be applicable in an emergency)
- Move with extreme caution
- In an emergency, limit how many people are inside the hoistway at a given time to reduce the risks of injuries or death
Learn More About Elevators and Hoistways
Would you like to learn more about commercial elevators and hoistways? Contact Action Elevator today through our online contact form or by calling (410) 766-8140. One of our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you have about an elevator hoistway or elevators generally.