The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health renewed permits in all 58 elevators at CSUN after the campus was cited for several violations.
During the Fall 2004 semester, almost four months after some permits had expired, the D.O.S.H. cited CSUN for several violations, including burnt out elevator car lights, elevator pit debris, and an emergency alarm bell that was not working properly, said Susan Arvanitis, administrative support coordinator for Physical Plant Management.
Arvanitis said the permits were due for inspection in April 2004, and said she called the D.O.S.H. numerous times to let them know it was time to renew the permits.
But it took the D.O.S.H. a long time to come out for an inspection, Arvanitis said.
This possible delay may have been due to the effects of budget cuts on many state agencies last year, said Tom Brown, PPM director.
The violations were minor and were fixed immediately following notification, Arvanitis said.
“(The Elevators) are now clean as a whistle,” Arvanitis said.
The next round of permits will expire between August and November of this year, she said.
Before permits are issued, elevators must go through a series of tests in order to comply with the new state codes, Brown said. Maintenance is completed regularly to ensure these standards are met, he said.
“We can’t get the permit without fixing those things,” Brown said.
According to Dean Fryer, spokesperson for the California D.O.S.H., when representatives from D.O.S.H. were called out to CSUN during the fall semester to inspect the elevators, all requirements were met by CSUN and new permits were issued.
Elevator owners are required to deal with routine maintenance, and big problems are rarely found, Fryer said.
The D.O.S.H. is only responsible for updating the permits and making sure standards are met, he said.
Elevator owners are usually contracted with other companies to perform maintenance, and the D.O.S.H. conducts inspections once a year, Fryer said.
CSUN has a contract with Amtech Elevator Service, a service agency that comes to campus monthly to perform maintenance on all the elevators.
“All elevators are hit at least once a month,” Arvanitis said.
The D.O.S.H. is notified after the expiration date, Fryer said. The D.O.S.H. then send a team to inspect the elevator and issue a new permit. This process, he said, can still take up to a few months after the permits expire.
Sometimes, elevator owners do not display their permits immediately after receiving them, Fryer said. This happens often, causing the D.O.S.H. to have to make phone calls and remind them to display the new permits. He said sometimes it takes elevator owners months to put out the new permits.
“Sometimes, the permits are issued, mailed and then put aside by the owner,” Fryer said.
Brown said this may happen occasionally, but CSUN displays the permits soon after receiving them.
Fryer said although the D.O.S.H. does not have the authority to penalize the owners for not having valid permits or for violating California safety codes, the organization does have the authority to completely shut down elevators when they are unsafe to ride.
But this is rarely done, Fryer said.
“Very few times have I seen our people have to come in and close an elevator down,” Fryer said. “This illustrates great compliance.”