On February 6, 2023, a wide geography covering 11 provinces was affected as a result of the damage caused by two large earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 and aftershocks centered in the districts of Kahramanmaraş Pazardzhik and Elbistan. According to official figures, tens of thousands of our citizens lost their lives and more than a hundred thousand of our citizens were injured.
Even if there are structures that were not damaged during these earthquakes, it is of great importance that the elevators must be checked for safe use.
During earthquakes, the release of the counterweight from the guide rails and collision with the cabin, rupture of rail brackets, breakage on skates, separation of fixing bolts from the well wall are among the most common problems. It may cause serious accidents if it is examined by a specialist and the necessary repairs are not made.
For this reason, Yunus Yener, The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects said that "The necessary inspection should be carried out by the maintenance company in the elevators in the structures located in the earthquake zone. If necessary, renovation operations should be carried out, then periodic control should be carried out again to put the elevator into service."
In this regard, a letter has been sent to the Union of Municipalities, the Union of Provinces, Type A Inspection Organizations, Elevator associations by the Ministry of Industry and Technology, which is the regulatory body for legislation. In order for the elevators in the provinces of Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa to be put into service, the Ministry of Environmental Urbanism and Climate Change has made a determination that the building where the elevator is located is undamaged or slightly damaged, it was stated that the due diligence report indicating that the elevator located in the building in question can be put into service should be prepared by the maintenance company that signed the maintenance contract with the building supervisor, and then periodic inspection should be carried out by the relevant Type A Inspection Organization to determine that the elevator is safe.
Any elevator that does not go through these processes is not safe and should definitely not be used.
After determining that the elevator is safe as indicated, it should be opened for use. If the elevators are opened before this process is completed, the “building responsible” will be responsible for all accidents and consequences that will occur.
According to the regulations made in the elevator legislation and the appropriate applications, a significant distance has been recorded in the “safe” elevator compared to the past. This process needs to be taken further and developed. Design, production, installation, operation, maintenance and inspection processes should be reviewed again in this sense and responsibilities should be redefined. In all processes of production, assembly, operation and periodic examination of the elevators, expert engineers who are documented by professional chambers should be authorized and this process should be rearranged with an understanding. Our chamber is an active component and side of this process as it has so far. The safety of people's lives and property is too serious a task to be left to the profit-based market understanding of the audit. Therefore, it is an urgent need for a rearrangement in which the professional chambers are involved. "