elevator safety

Elevator Industry Safety experts advocate for safety in the building and construction workplace in general, and in the elevator industry in particular. In a continuous effort to educate elevator constructors and improve safety, experts are trying to expand on the meaning of working safe and looking at expanding the safety culture.

Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF at www.eiwpf.org) just published a Q&A with safety expert Justin Ganschow of Caterpillar Safety Services in Peoria, Illinois touching on many aspects as to why employee safety behavior and a culture of safety at home is an important matter. Please check it out here: https://www.eiwpf.org/developing-a-safety-culture-at-home


Every 5 years the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) enters into a collectively bargained agreement with elevator companies across the United States. The agreement addresses a range of issues ranging from work jurisdiction, compensation for the work performed to on-the-job safety and as such impacts the entire elevator industry for the next 5 years.

Typically, IUEC signs two collectively bargained agreements; one is with National Elevator Bargaining Association (NEBA) which includes the 6 largest elevator industry employers in the US (Otis, Schindler, Fujitec America, Kone, Mitsubishi, North American Elevator Service, and TKE), while the other one is with The Elevator Contractors of America (ECA), which is an employer group of independent signatory contractors.

In early April 2022, hundreds of delegates representing the more than 31,000 members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) gathered in Washington DC to review, debate, and ultimately vote on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Once the contract had been successfully ratified, IUEC General President Frank Christensen released a statement reflecting on the ratification. In his statement, GP Christensen touts contract provisions such as increased wages, robust healthcare and retirement benefits, and the establishment of a first-ever labor-management safety committee. In his statement, the union leader recognizes the value of strong partnerships between labor and management, and stresses the importance of working with contractor partners to address pertinent safety issues.

Read the full statement here:

“Delegates from coast to coast came together and got the job done. With increased wages and a strong benefits package, the new contract is a victory for our union, our members, and our members’ families – supporting it was a no-brainer. What’s more, the contract increases funding to advance industry safety initiatives, as well as grow market share.

“Two things matter most to me – ensuring my brothers and sisters are taken care of from a pay and benefits standpoint and keeping them safe on the job. While lucrative and fulfilling, a career in the elevator trade is an innately dangerous job. From falls to electrical hazards, so much can, and unfortunately does, sometimes go wrong. That’s why, as part of the new agreement, there was a renewed commitment to continuing education and safety, including the formation of a first-ever labor-management safety committee.

“The organized elevator industry recognizes the importance of collaborating with contractor partners to effectively identify and address both general construction and industry-specific safety issues. The reality is this: For the elevator industry to be a safer one, a strong partnership must exist between labor and management. Together, we can and will do everything in our power to see that, at the end of the day, all workers go home safely.”

Eric Rittenhouse, an instructor with National Elevator Industry Education Program (NEIEP at www.neiep.org)  recently sat down with us to share his thoughts on why the NEIEP apprenticeship and continuing education programs are important for elevator constructors.

Some of the areas he highlights include why it’s necessary to teach elevator constructors about typical real-life scenarios and unusual issues that can arise in the field. He also underscores the critical role of continuing education in helping experienced elevator constructors adapt to the constantly evolving technological landscape in the elevator industry.

elevator technician salary

Union elevator constructors in Boston have been quite busy in 2022 – just a few months into the new year, and the Boston union’s officers and members have already installed elevators at the homes of two veterans at no cost to the veterans.

The International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) calls the program Lift for a Vet. It originated in, and is still run out of, IUEC Local 5 in Philadelphia. The program – one that has helped hundreds of veterans nationwide to date – is a nonprofit with a mission to purchase and install elevators, home lifts, stair lifts, and wheelchair lifts in the residences of disabled veterans.

Along with their normal work routines, IUEC members donate their time, as well as their skills and deep knowledge of the trade, to help ensure veterans can live as independently as possible while having access to the vertical transportation systems best suited to their needs.

“Helping the brave men and women who served our country – that’s the goal. It’s all about giving back,” said IUEC Local 4 Business Manager and second-generation elevator constructor Tim Morgan. “At the end of the day, giving back to the selfless people who dedicated their life to service is the greatest reward. Seeing the smiles on the veterans’ faces – I can assure you that it means more than any paycheck.”

Single-digit temperatures did not stop the hardworking team – including members of Boston-based IUEC Local 4 along with members of other trades – from stepping up to get the job done.

For one veteran, getting the job done meant installing a chair lift to help him more easily enter his residence.

“Our members have the utmost respect for veterans. Lift for a Vet is a program designed to help our nation’s heroes – they sacrificed so much for us, and any limitations they may face, it’s our responsibility to help them overcome any chance we get,” said Morgan.

The IUEC and its local unions collaborate to raise money for Lift for a Vet. As disabled veterans needing home lifts come forward or are otherwise identified, IUEC Local 5 uses the program’s funds to purchase lifts. Then, union elevator constructors in the veteran’s locality perform the installations of said lifts at no cost to the veteran.

“We want to empower disabled veterans any way we can – if installing a lift helps a veteran gain easier access to his or her home, then we’ve done our job. We’re so grateful for every donation to Lift for a Vet. The more funds they receive, the more veterans we can service – and there’s never a financial burden that falls on the veterans or their families. It’s truly a great program,” added Morgan. “The veterans we help are always incredibly grateful – and our union is proud to serve the men and women who served our nation.”