The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has significantly increased elevator inspections and citations in the past year. The stepped-up enforcement effort began in December 2011 when Suzanne Hart was crushed to death by a malfunctioning elevator. Since her death the DOB has added eight additional inspectors.

DOB officials issued more than 750 of its biggest fines between January and October 2012, about a 50% increase over the same period in 2011. Previoulsy the DOB had been heavily criticised for not performing enough inspections. Elevators in New York City have to be inspected at least three times every two years and tested at least once a year.

Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the DOB has extended the 2012 inspection and filing deadlines for elevators and vertical lift devices. Elevators will now have an inspection deadline of February 15, 2013 and a filing deadline of March 29, 2013.

Building owners must have a basic test conducted on their devices annually (normally between January 1 and December 31). A load test is not required as part of this test. The test must be performed by an Approved Elevator Inspection Agency and witnessed by an Approved Agency not affiliated with the agency performing the inspection. Owners must file the ELV3 Elevator Inspection/Test Report with the Department to record the inspection results. The ELV3 must be submitted within 45 calendar days from the date of inspection.

If defects are found during the inspection, these items must be corrected and the ELV29 Affirmation of Correction Form must be filed as proof of correction. Defects must be corrected within 45 business days of filing the ELV3. The ELV29 must be filed within 15 business days of completing repairs.