Expired papers were posted in eerie elevators

Kaitlin R. Greenockle, News Editor

As of Jan. 26, state-issued operation certificates were posted inside Living and Learning Center’s elevators. The certificates had not been posted in the elevators previously.

What some may not notice in small print on the posted certificates is that the certificates expired Sep. 30.

State occupational and Industrial Safety Bureau Assistant Director Joe Marchioni shed some light on penalties that can be enforced for elevator operators who fail to post certificates or update expired certificates.

Marchioni said it is required for certificates to be posted inside elevator or attached to a controller in the machine room.

There is no penalty for not posting per se, according to Marchioni.

“The department would advise the owner of the elevator to post the certificate if it is discovered that it is not posted,” Marchioni said.   

Expired certificates have a harsher penalty than just being advised to renew.

Marchioni said continuing to operate an elevator with an expired certificate is a regulation violation for which the responsible party would receive a letter to correct the issue.

“Enforcement may result in the removing of the equipment from service until such time that the violation is corrected,” Marchioni said.

According to the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, any individual, firm or corporation violating the act is committing a summary offense and, upon conviction, can be sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 or less.

Elevators are inspected on a reoccurring basis by certified elevator inspectors, according to Marchioni.

After an inspection, reports are sent to the bureau for processing and enforcement action.

Marchioni said if there are any violations they are reported to the owner via an official enforcement letter with a compliance date.

He also said that written complaints can be submitted to the Occupational and Industrial Safety Bureau to prompt them to send out an inspector.

The certificates now appear to be expired, though Assistant Physical Plant Director Walter Kalista did not answer an email asking to confirm that information.

Sophomore Kaylee Gilchrist said she was surprised to see that the elevator certificate listed September as the expiration month.

“This doesn’t make me feel safe, and I can’t even explain the noises it (the elevators) make,” Gilchrist said.

Living and Learning Center resident Hannah Krukar said she won’t take the elevator if she is alone.

“I never take the elevator unless someone is with me. Otherwise, I take the stairs,” Krukar said.