BOSTON (CBS) – According to the state auditor’s office, the Department of Public Safety comes up short when it comes to elevator safety.
In a 2010 report, the state found 30 percent of elevators needed new inspections. In the follow-up report released Tuesday, we learned more than 14,000 elevators have expired inspection certificates. That’s 36 percent statewide.
“That is unacceptable,” State Auditor Suzanne Bump said. “The public needs to know that when they set foot in an elevator that they can trust that elevator to safely deliver them up or down.”
After the 2010 report, the Department of Public Safety hired more inspectors, but the auditor thinks the problem goes way beyond raw manpower.
“It’s been a chronic issue for this agency that elevators are going uninspected for long periods of time,” Bump said.
Tuesday’s audit is unrelated to last year’s incident at Fenway Park when a woman fell down an elevator shaft and was seriously injured after a door had apparently been smashed open.
Nevertheless, the state auditor says any and all out-of-compliance elevators are a threat to public safety.
“It’s highly unusual that the state auditor will do an audit and then see further backsliding four years down the road,” Bump said. “I think that the agency has a lot to answer for.”
The Department of Public Safety says they know there is room for improvement in their elevator division, but they argue the number of elevators without valid inspections is closer to 28 percent not 36 percent.
They say they are making changes.
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