Guidance for the Lift Owner or “Duty Holder”


This information sheet contains notes on good practice, which, unless they are part of the legislation, are not compulsory, but may be helpful in considering what a lift owner or ‘duty holder’ should do. They are intended to supplement the legislation and the approved code of practice and guidance advised by the Health and Safety Executive.

Lift Owner or ‘Duty Holder’

The owner or ‘duty holder’ is a person designated responsible for the safe and suitable operation of the lift. It would normally be a ‘facilities manager’ or supervisor, but could also be a ‘tenant’s association’ in a residential block or other such organisation responsible for ensuring the (funding for) safety of the lift. The owner of the property in which the lift is situated would normally be responsible if no such other person or group had been appointed.

Duty of Care – General

Everyone has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to avoid acts or omissions, which would be foreseeable as injuring other persons. Lift owners or duty holders have a specific responsibility to ensure the safety of others, while using the lift. In particular they are responsible for the safe use of the lift, which includes its safe operation, condition (maintenance) and compliance with relevant statutory requirements.

They may be required to explain to the authorities how these responsibilities have been discharged. This is usually by way of providing evidence of a regular servicing and maintenance regime together with a record of periodic thorough examinations by a competent person. The duty holder is responsible for ensuring the person undertaking the examination is competent. SAFed member companies train, underwrite and only employ competent persons to carry out thorough examinations in a safe manner and are accredited to do this by sole government recognised accreditation body the United Kingdom Accreditation Service – (UKAS).

All Lifts

All lifts are subject to the the Health and Safety and Work Act, notably Regulations pertaining to the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).  SAFed recommends that all lifts should be subject to an effective servicing regime and thorough examination by a competent person.  Records of servicing and maintenance together with thorough examination reports should be kept and provided to the regulatory authorities (HSE/Local Authority) when requested.  Any actions required by the thorough examination report should be completed as soon as possible and before the time specified on the report.  Where a dangerous defect has been detected requiring immediate cessation of work, the lift should not be used until the defect has been rectified and the lift declared safe to use.

Other relevant information

Further information, including the role and specific responsibilities of lift duty holders, can be gained from the HSE website: .  Further guidance is also provided by the  Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) at

SAFed, in support of LEIA, provides advice and guidance to the industry. Lift Guidance 1 (LG1) is specific guidance for the competent person carrying out the thorough examination in calling for supplementary tests to ensure the continued safety of the lift. It is not mandatory but would be an integral part of the thorough examination. LG1 is primarily aimed at the professional industry but is available for download in Technical Guides, Machinery Lift and Crane page Safety.

Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed)

The Safety Assessment Federation (SAFed) is the UK leading trade association, for the independent engineering inspection and certification industry. All SAFed Full Member Companies are accredited by UKAS to formal international standards to provide thorough examination services by a competent person to national regulations (1). They do not maintain, service, supply or manufacture equipment, ensuring customers receive fully independent, comprehensive and professional service. SAFed also provides advice, guidelines and publications, acknowledged as best practice within the industry.

1.  Health and safety at  Work Act 2005 

BS EN ISO 17020

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