Shenzhen pledges to improve elevator safety after price war causes accidentsPosted: 05/27/2013 10:00 am
The Shenzhen Market Supervisory Authority has pledged to introduce reforms to improve the safety of elevators after three elevator-related accidents occurred in the city in the past month, including one which killed a woman gruesomely in Luohu District.
The declining safety of elevators has been caused by a price war in the industry, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reports.
The price war has led maintenance companies to cut staff, increase the workload of workers, and cut corners with quality.
This led to tragedy when a 24 year-old nurse, Miss Wang, was decapitated after being half trapped inside an elevator on May 16. You can see footage of the accident, which happened in Changhong Tower in Luohu District, here. Be warned, it is not for the faint hearted.
The city currently has 10,000 elevators. This number has increased by 10,000 every year since 2005. According to the Shenzhen Special Equipment Industry Association, there are currently 313 elevator maintenance companies in the city, triple the number of ten years ago. However, the industry is something of a racket and this number does not include those that operate without a license.
In 2003, the average cost of maintenance in the city was 2,000 yuan per elevator. Now it is down to 500 yuan. This is largely a result of pricing guidelines introduced by the association in 2006 which stipulated that the price of maintaining a 9-person capacity elevator should be 533 yuan a month. However, due to poor supervision, some companies have been getting away with charging as little as 300 yuan a month.
In May last year, Guangdong Province introduced reforms stipulating that when an elevator accident occurs, the party whose name the elevator was registered under would be held responsible.
As Beijing Cream has pointed out, Weida Elevator Shenzhen Ltd had completed an inspection of the elevator in which Miss Wang died just a few days before. The company has a lot to answer for.