Purpose and application

The Lift Safety Directive (2006/42/EC and amended by 2014/33/EU) was introduced by The European Commission to ensure a harmonised standard of safety in the design and manufacture of lifts throughout the European Economic Area. In doing so, it fills an intentional loophole in the Machinery Directive which specifically excludes most forms of lift in order to allow for this more specific directive.

The directive applies to all lifts intended for carrying personnel and any lift to which personnel have access. Lifts are defined as

“lifting appliances serving specific levels by means of a car moving between guides which are rigid and inclined at an angle of more than 15 degrees to the horizontal”. 

Additionally, lifts without guides but “moving along a fixed course even where they do not move along guides which are rigid” are covered as are some safety critical subsystems and components. These include devices for locking landing doors; devices to prevent falls; overspeed limitation devices; shock absorbers; safety devices fitted to hydraulic power circuits and safety switches.

Certain types of lift are excluded, the main ones being lifts specifically designed for military purposes, stage/theatre lifts; mine winding gear; and lifts fitted in a means of transport.