ASME A17 Elevator Safety Standards

Elevator shaft being designed with ASME A17

In the United States and Canada, the relied-upon safety Code for elevators, escalators, and associated equipment and parts is ASME A17.1-2019: Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (developed as CSA B44-2019 in Canada). This addresses a range of considerations, but it is concise and focused enough to be widely adopted by regulatory bodies. You can read more about ASME A17.1 in our post on the elevator standard.

However, additional standards in the ASME A17 series (CSA B44 for Canada) focus on other, more specialized guidelines for elevators. These standards are:

ASME A17.2-2020: Guide for Inspection of Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Walks

This document is intended to serve as a guide for inspectors, offering how-to inspect guidelines and techniques, as well as cautionary notes in a logical sequence. In addition to covering the recommended inspection methods, the standard details testing procedures for electric and hydraulic elevators, escalators, and moving walks required to conform to ASME A17.1-2019, as well as those in conformance with any edition of the Code since 1955.

While intended to assist qualified inspectors performing routine inspections, the ASME A17.2-2020 guide should not be used as a basis for government regulations or as a way to handle discrepancies noted during an inspection or test. This role lies instead with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).

You can learn more about this standard in our post ASME A17.2-2020: Guide for Inspection of Elevators.

ASME A17.3-2020: Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators

A deviation from the ASME A17.1 code back in 1986—a response to numerous state and local jurisdictions developing their own code for existing elevator installations—ASME A17.3-2020 is intended to serve as the basis for state and local jurisdictional authorities in adopting retroactive requirements for existing elevators and escalators to enhance the safety of the general public.

In addition, the code acts as a standard reference for architects, engineers, insurance companies, manufacturers, and contractors, as well as building owners and managers, in providing a reasonable degree of safety for the general public while enacting retroactive requirements to existing elevators.

You can learn more about ASME A17.3 by reading our post on the standard.

ASME A17.4-2015: Guide for Emergency Personnel

A series of issues can be responsible for an elevator becoming stuck in the elevator shaft. It is common, if the elevator car does not resume motion, for passengers to evacuate under the supervision of elevator personnel.

In accordance with ASME A17.4-2015, building management should select and train their employees in proper elevation evacuation procedures and organize a rescue team for each shift. If this is impractical, the building management should coordinate with the local authorities responsible for rescue operations. This standard outlines evacuation procedures, guidelines for selecting and training the rescue team, and other concerns.

ASME-A17.5-2014: Elevator and escalator electrical equipment

This document covers the design and construction of electrical equipment for elevators, escalators, moving walks, dumbwaiters, material lifts, and elevating devices. This equipment includes motor controllers, motion controllers, operation controllers, and operating devices.

You can learn more by reading our post, ASME A15.5-2019: Elevator Electrical Equipment

Please note that ASME A17.5/CSA B44.1-2019 is intended to be used in conjunction with ASME A17.1, and the electrical equipment it covers should be installed in accordance with NFPA 70-2017: National Electrical Code or CSA C22.1-2021: Canadian Electrical Code in the United States or Canada, respectively.

ASME A17.6-2017: Standard for Elevator Suspension, Compensation, and Governor Systems

As an elevator’s means of propulsion is through its steel wire ropes or cables, ASME A17.6-2017, which is also intended to be used in conjunction with ASME A17.1, addresses the material properties, testing, inspection, and replacement criteria for elevator suspension and compensation systems. It also covers ropes for governor applications.

ASME A17.6-2017 is broken up into three parts, each for a specific technology related to elevator suspension: Stranded Carbon Steel Wire Ropes, Aramid Fiber Ropes, and Noncircular Elastomeric Coated Steel Suspension Members.

Further information on this standard is available from our post on the Standard for Elevator Suspension, Compensation, and Governor Systems.

ASME A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-2007 (R2017): Performance-Based Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (Bi-National standard, with ASME A17.7)

Since ASME A17.1 was written for adoption by regulatory bodies, it is possible for there to be a gap between it and some designs and products that make emerge through industry innovations. Therefore, ASME A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-2007 (R2017) was developed to cover materials and processes not explicitly covered in the ASME A17.1 code that may emerge in mechanical, structural, electronic, and optics areas.

For these new products, ASME A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-2007 (R2017) serves as a performance-based safety code covering the design, construction, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, alteration, and repair of the equipment. It is written through a structured method that grants consistency while demonstrating the safety of the designs and products to aid the AHJ.

ASME A17.8-2021/CSA B44.8:21: Standard for wind turbine tower elevators

This standard is vastly different that the preceding documents, as it specifically covers elevators in the towers of wind turbines, which allow workers to scale windmills for maintenance, inspection, and repair. This is becoming increasingly important as wind turbines follow taller designs to gain optimal power output. You can read more about this in our post on wind turbine tower elevators.

ASME A17.1/CSA B44 HB-2019: Handbook on Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators

This handbook details the rationale for every change made to the ASME A17.1-2019 Code, as well as explanations, examples, and illustrations for their implementation. You can read more about it in our post on the ASME A17.1 handbook.

The majority of these standard documents can be acquired together through the ASME A17 Elevator and Escalator Safety Package.

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3 thoughts on “ASME A17 Elevator Safety Standards
  1. I am trying to find an archive of older versions of A17.1 – going all the way back to the very first edition (1921), as well as every edition published since then. It would seem that scanned copies of these older standards could – and should – be made available for purchase.

  2. needing to acquire updated code books here at the Kansas City VA Hospital. could you please send me info on how to order new books from you please!

    1. You can purchase ASME A17.1-2019 on the ANSI Webstore here or search that website for any further documents you might need to acquire.

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