Ontario’s Auditor General just confirmed what high-rise dwellers have known all along: elevators in Ontario are in a bad state. A really bad state.
According to the report, 80 per cent of elevators in the province failed Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspections in 2018.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, criticized the TSSA for poor oversight. It noted that most elevators and escalators in the province fail to comply with safety laws.
“We found cases where the TSSA has focused on areas where it can recover its costs even though its activities have little effect on public safety, and we found other areas in which the TSSA does not generate revenue from licensing fees and where it has done little to enforce public safety, even though risks to public safety exist,” the report read.
Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk also called out the TSSA’s outdated computer system. It “contains inconsistent and incomplete information about the safety status of devices and businesses that it regulates,” she wrote.
“TSSA’s licensing system does not communicate with the system that captures inspection information,” she explained. “As a result, in 2018, the TSSA renewed the operating licences of over 300 elevators that at the same time were still shut down by the TSSA for being unsafe to operate.”
Lysyk says that the self-funded TSSA lacks the appropriate enforcement powers to deal with big elevator companies.
Only a small number of elevator maintenance companies operate in Ontario and most fail to meet safety laws. Despite receiving multiple fines, one company had 93 per cent of their serviced elevators fail inspection this year.
Shockingly, five of their elevators are located within a Toronto hospital.