[NEW] Required Inspection for Construction Hoists

As many of you may be aware the latest edition of the “elevator code” 524 CMR: BOARD OF ELEVATOR REGULATIONS requires that exterior personnel hoists shall be reviewed by the fire department having jurisdiction and written proof of this review must be provided to the elevator inspector in order to pass initial inspection. 

Fire Department Sign-off of Exterior Personnel Hoist

After a short conversation with Lt. Fitzpatrick of BFD, here is a brief summary of a typical hoist inspection (please see code for full details of compliance):


Cars should be labeled with appropriate weatherproof signage indicating car number(s) and location of disconnect(s).  Disconnects should also be labeled with the car number that it’s associated with.

Phase I Emergency Control Operation

A three position switch shall be located outside of the hoist, and it shall be labeled “Emergency Control Operation” with its positions marked “RESET,” “OFF,” and “ON” (in that order), with “OFF” as the center position. The “Emergency Control Operation” letters shall be a minimum of 25.4 mm (1.0″) high, red in color with a contrasting background. 

Exterior switch should be in an enclosure and activate a visual and audible alarm when recall is in affect.


Phase II Emergency Control Operation 

When an ECO switch is in the “ON” position, a visual beacon lamp, red in color, shall illuminate the elevator cab and an audible signal shall be provided to alert the attendant to return nonstop to the designated level. The visual beacon shall remain illuminated during the entire emergency operation procedure. A visual signal in the car operating panel shall read “EMERGENCY OPERATION – RETURN TO LEVEL [ ]” with the applicable level listed. The audible and COP visual signals shall remain in effect until the elevator is returned to the recall floor and phase II is enacted. 

A two-position key operated switch, located in the car operating panel, shall override the operator’s disable key (see in the event that no operator is on site and/or the unit in not in operation. 

Two-position switch shall be labeled “Emergency Control Operation” and its positions marked “OFF” and “ON” in that order. The “Emergency Control Operation” letters shall be a minimum of 25.4 mm (1.0″) high, red in color with a contrasting background. The key used to operate the Phase II ECO switch shall be removable in the “OFF” position only. 

Rooftop Hatch: The emergency exit shall be supplied with a firefighter key number 3502 that shall allow only emergency personnel and Massachusetts-licensed elevator mechanics to open the exit.


The key switches required for ECO Phase I and Phase II shall be operable by the firefighter key number 3502 only (cut side up). 

Upon completion of emergency operation and return to normal operation the car must be configured as to require a reset which can only be performed by a Massachusetts-licensed elevator mechanicPlease see 524 CMR: BOARD OF ELEVATOR REGULATIONS for all details of this requirement.

This is not a comprehensive list for compliance with 524 CMR: BOARD OF ELEVATOR REGULATIONS,  a.k.a the “elevator code.”  Please read and follow the above mentioned and all other applicable codes, standards, regulations, and the like to ensure compliance

Author: Joe Kelly

Website builder and podcaster for people who dig construction 🔨 🚧

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