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NEII Announces New Executive Director

TOPEKA, KS. (SEPTEMBER 15, 2020)

Amy Blankenbiller will be stepping into the role of Executive Director at the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) effective Friday, October 16. 


Amy, who has been NEII's Vice President of Government Affairs since 2009, brings over 30 years of leadership, advocacy, strategic planning and management experience to this new position. Her track record speaks for itself, and we are fortunate that Amy will be leading NEII as our industry works to advance safety, strengthen relationships, and promote innovation. 


Formerly, Amy was the President and founder of AjB Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm working with associations, organizations and private businesses to implement government policy strategies, and President/CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. She also spent nearly twenty years in the Washington, DC area where she worked on federal and state policy efforts, as well as association management issues. Most notably, Amy received an appointment from President George H.W. Bush and served in his Administration. She also worked on Capitol Hill for both a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator. 


The Board of Directors thanks NEII's current Executive Director Karen Penafiel for her valuable contributions over the last four years, which includes assembling a top-notch staff, spearheading the development of a professional website and branding, and overseeing a strong advocacy program.


We wish Karen well and congratulate Amy on her new role within the NEII organization. 


Greg Ergenbright

President, National Elevator Industry, Inc. 

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Safety Stand-Down Tools

September 14-18, 2020 was the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's 7th Annual  Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction Week. 

Many resources have been developed for safety stand-down events and toolbox talks. 


Safety STand-Down REsources


Toolbox Talks



About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Recommendations to States Related to Building Transportation Equipment during COVID-19 Reopening Efforts

Everyone is trying to figure out what will be the new “normal” in the era of Covid-19, and we have seen lots of questions related to the use, cleaning and design of elevators and escalators within discussions about the types of services our industry can offer. One thing is certain: Transmission of the disease occurs when people are in close proximity to one another, and the space in elevators and on escalators presents opportunities for meeting the challenges of the pandemic.


We also know that many routine tasks and others aspects of commerce have changed – people are queued six feet apart to check-out of retail stores, mail packages, etc.; wearing masks is socially expected in public places; and sanitizing  surfaces and surroundings has become the norm.

The building transportation industry has the opportunity to shape the debate around the regulation and use of our equipment, and we need to take assertive action. In order to ensure the appropriate management of issues related to elevators and escalators and to assist states in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and related recovery, NEII is proposing the following: 

COVID-19 Response and Beyond (Long-Term Recommendations)

Encourage the use of “touchless” phone and app-based systems so passengers can call elevators and/or select floors from a personal device through the internet without a need to push the standard elevator buttons from the lobbies or within the car.

  • Jurisdictions should ensure that all such systems providing users a method to call cars and/or select floors from a personal device (or other alternative means), including those that connect through the internet, can be utilized.

Adopt the most recent edition of the A17.1 model elevator code (ASME A17.1/CSA B44, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators) so that the safest and most cost-effective standards are in place and to support a strong economic recovery.

  • Jurisdictions following older versions of A17.1 are encouraged to update their elevator code to the most recent edition (2019).
  • Adopting the most recent code will significantly reduce the number of variances that may be needed each year. Variances add costs and delays, many of which can be avoided by adopting the most recent codes.
  • Manufactures design to the most recent code nationally. Building owners benefit from the economies of scale by purchasing these pre-engineered models, as well as the on-time installation of standard elevators rather than devoting resources to troubleshooting changes specific to any one jurisdiction.

Allow elevator companies to self-attest to the completion of specific work identified by inspectors during annual and other required inspections.

  • Jurisdictions across the U.S. and Canada all face challenges of managing increasing workloads with limited resources.
  • Deficiencies identified during annual inspections are often related to non-life-safety items, many of which are minor such as elevator button lights, etc.
  • Self-attestations related to the completion of the work related to items such as these will reduce the time inspectors dedicate to re-inspections, freeing resources for the completion of annual and other required inspections.
    • Spot-checks can be done to confirm compliance, or those items can be verified during the next scheduled inspection.
  • Citizens need to be confident that all elevators will be inspected every year, especially when equipment will be returned to service after being idle or  shut-down during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home orders, and some, if not all, will be operating under different conditions and/or be modified moving forward in response to measures aimed at responding to the pandemic.

Implement video inspections to reduce the need for inspectors to travel to multiple sites.

  • Elevator service companies have utilized video inspections in various jurisdiction across the U.S. effectively during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home orders and restricted operations.
  • Inspectors can perform on-site inspections if specific locations if issues are identified during the video inspection or other factors deem it necessary.
  • Moving forward through re-opening and beyond, video inspections would be a way for jurisdictions to maximize its resources without compromising safety.
  • Video inspections can also reduce the need for inspectors to travel to various locations and interact with numerous people, reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for inspectors, elevator personnel and others.

COVID-19 Response for Building Owners (Short-Term Recommendations)

As part of the detailed risk assessment and site-specific protection plans required by most, if not all re-opening efforts, building owners and managers should have a section specifically related to building transportation equipment to be followed for a specific length of time and discontinued thereafter.


The following recommendations are components of a multi-factor approach for this section of the site-specific protection plan. Specific measures may or may not be adopted depending on requirements, considerations or circumstances.


NOTE: NEII is not a healthcare expert. Its recommendations are based on currently available guidance from the CDC and other authorities.  NEII is not making any claim or representation that any of these measures will prevent the spread of COVID-19 or any other virus or disease.  These recommendations are subject to change as more information about COVID-19 becomes known.


A. Implement physical distancing protocols in elevators. Each site will need to review the size of its cars and number of elevators in a bank to assess distancing between passengers. 


Examples include: 

  • 2500# cars: no more than two people in opposite corners.
  • 3000# & 3500# cars: no more than three people with two in back corners and one in center by door.
  •  Larger service cars (which may have limited access by the public) greater than 72”x 72” can accommodate four.
  • These guidelines were developed based on the “standard” dimensions of elevator cars and are not appropriate in all circumstances. All factors should be considered when determining the appropriate number of persons per elevator, including what type of other preventative measures are being utilized at the location.

B. Space passengers on escalators.

  • At least four steps should remain empty in between passengers.

C. Other passenger traffic control measures, such as:

  • Markings on lobby floors and/or in elevator cars and escalator steps.
  • Stanchions (for lobbies only; not recommended for use inside cars)
  • Destination dispatch systems* (to increase efficiencies of elevator rides and reduce time spent in elevator cars). 

D. Communicate information to passengers and building tenants.

  • Signage plan for content and placement.
  • Other.

E. Cleaning methods and frequency recommendations or alternatives to traditional cleaning methods for each elevator car, escalator railing and all the call buttons.

  • Other measures to comply with current CDC guidance, including but not limited to:
  • Face masks and other coverings.
  • Sanitizer stations.
  • Staggered arrivals, departures and break times of workers and tenants.

G. Other options may also be considered as long they meet all applicable codes, laws and regulations, and they do not restrict accessibility, create unsafe conditions, or hinder performance of the elevators and/or escalators. Examples include:

  • Additional air ventilation for elevator cars and elsewhere in the building.
  • Alternative floors selection options (i.e., “no touch” screens, foot pedals, etc.).
  • Additional elevators.

*Destination Dispatch systems can be either a short-term or a long-term solution. We recommend building owners interested in exploring destination dispatch systems should discuss options with their elevator service companies.


Download a PDF of NEII's recommendations.

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Tips for the Public

Elevator and Escalator Tips for the Riding Public

  • Elevator buttons and escalator handrails are frequently touched surfaces. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after riding an elevator or escalator.
  • Avoid direct hand contact with the elevator buttons.
  • The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when in public. Consider an elevator a public space and cover your mouth and nose when riding.
  • Maintain physical distancing practices in elevators and on escalators when possible.
  • Keep at least four empty steps between you and the person in front and behind you on the escalator.
  • In small elevator cars, two people can stand in opposing corners. In larger elevator cars, three people can practice social distancing with two in the back corners and one in the center facing the door.

Download a PDF below:

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Elevator and Escalator Tips for the Riding Public:


  • Elevator buttons and escalator handrails are frequently touched surfaces. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after riding an elevator or escalator.
  • Avoid direct hand contact with the elevator buttons.
  • The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when in public. Consider an elevator a public space and cover your mouth and nose when riding.
  • Maintain physical distancing practices in elevators and on escalators when possible.
  • Keep at least four empty steps between you and the person in front and behind you on the escalator.
  • In small elevator cars, two people can stand in opposing corners. In larger elevator cars, three people can practice social distancing with two in the back corners and one in the center facing the door.

Download a PDF below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Tips for Facility Managers

Elevator and Escalator Tips for Facility Managers Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Clean and disinfect all elevator buttons and other frequently touched surfaces periodically throughout the day.
  • Post signage letting riders know that all high-touch surfaces are being cleaned on a regular basis to help keep them safe.
  • Post signage asking riders to avoid overcrowded elevators and to practice physical distancing.
  • Provide sanitizing wipes and/or hand sanitizer near elevators and escalators.
  • Stay safe in your home, workplace and in commercial environments by following these valuable tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Stagger arrivals, departures and break times for workers or tenants to manage the number of people needing the elevators and/or escalators at the same time.
  • Place queuing marks in elevator lobbies and near escalators to reinforce physical distancing intervals of six feet. 
  • Consider using stanchions, floor decals, etc. to control elevator and/or escalator traffic. 
  • Place decals on the elevator floor to identify where passengers should stand. 
  • Encourage the use of stairs to help manage overcrowding in elevators and elevator lobbies where feasible. Clean and disinfect stairwells and handrails in response to increased stair traffic. 
  • In elevator cars with minimum dimensions of less than 60 inches by 78 inches, two people can stand in opposing corners.
  • In elevator cars with dimensions greater than 60 inches by 78 inches (standard 300# cars and larger), three people can practice social distancing.
  • In elevator cars with dimensions greater than 72 inches by 72 inches (large service cars), four people - one in each corner - can practice social distancing.
    • Note: elevator cars with a minimum of 6 foot width and depth will meet the intent of the CDC guidelines. 

Download a pdf below:

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Elevator Safety and Accident Prevention

August 29, 2019

In light of a recent tragic and highly publicized accident in the U.S., the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) feels it is important to reaffirm the many measures our industry undertakes to provide a consistently high standard of safety.


Safety is the Elevator and Escalator Industry’s First Priority

NEII and its member companies are committed to the promotion of safe building transportation and continue to aggressively work toward improving and ensuring adoption of stringent safety codes, developing safer products and helping to educate the public on safe riding practices. While we cannot prevent every accident, we strongly believe that accidents such as these should never happen, and that it is our responsibility – from manufacturers, owners, managers and inspectors to the riding public – to uphold this overall commitment to safety.


Elevator Safety Codes Ensure Safe Equipment, Regular Maintenance and Inspections

The industry does have stringent codes in place to help ensure the safety of its products, and to make certain that machinery is maintained and inspected according to its respective codes. In addition, NEII fully supports licensing requirements for elevator and escalator mechanics across North America. 


Safety Features Keep Elevators From Moving While Doors are Open

Basic protections from elevators moving while their doors are open have in fact been in place since the 1920s. These simple electromechanical systems, which have continued to be improved over the years, are known as “interlocks” in later elevator codes, and exist on virtually all elevators in operation in the U.S. today. To better protect passengers from possible harm, the 1980 edition of the ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators implemented a provision that would lock the elevator car doors (door restrictors) when the car was more than 18 inches above or below the floor. This distance was recently changed to 7 inches. 


In 2000, the first harmonized edition of the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 code for new elevator installations was published it has incorporated the latest advances in technology, making additional protection possible and providing redundant protections against unintended elevator car movement. Elevators installed under the 2000 and later editions of the code contain these safety features:

  • A means to detect unintended car movement with the doors open  due to a failure in the drive machine, motor, brake, gearing, control system, hydraulic pressure, etc. that will immediately stop the car;
  • An independent, secondary emergency brake that is activated when unintended car movement is detected;
  • Application of this brake when a loss of power is detected; and
  • A requirement that the emergency brake be manually reset before the car is permitted to run again, requiring a qualified elevator mechanic to diagnose and correct the problem before the elevator is placed back in service.

For those elevators that predate the safety features introduced in the past 20 years, the ASME A17.3 Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators contains basic requirements for rider safety in these older systems. These include requiring door restrictors and prohibiting the driving machine that moves the car from operating with passengers on the car if the elevator doors are not in a closed position. NEII has consistently advocated for the adoption of the ASME A17.3 within every jurisdiction nationally, to ensure that a designated minimum standard of safety is met, regardless of the age, model or manufacturer of the equipment.


Regular Inspections and Maintenance are Critical

As with any electrical and/or mechanical system, it is critical that elevators be inspected and maintained on a regular basis to ensure that these safety features are functional. The ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators prescribes regular maintenance and periodic testing and inspection for all elevators. Of course, their success relies on building owners that retain adequate elevator maintenance, elevator contractors and technicians that are proficient in their work, and jurisdictions that require qualified elevator inspectors to help ensure the safety of the equipment. Proper preventive maintenance plays a critical role in eliminating the potential for equipment malfunctions and addressing any prospective difficulties.


Unfortunately, accidents can still occur even with all of these measures and the protections contained in our safety codes. This is why the NEII member companies remain committed to developing new technology to further enhance passenger protection in both new and old elevators. NEII remains a strong advocate of elevator and escalator safety by continually improving the systems in place to help ensure rider safety, endorsing the adoption of current model codes by local government agencies, and assisting our national and international code-writing bodies in the improvement of rules that affect the installation, maintenance and operation of this equipment.

As elevator technology continues to evolve, these safety codes also encourage the efficient and safe adoption of the latest technical developments, resulting in elevator equipment that remains on the leading edge of safety, innovation and reliability.  


Elevators Are One of the Safest Forms of Transportation

Though elevators are one of the safest forms of transportation with over 18 billion passenger trips per year in the United States alone, following simple guidelines can help further improve passenger safety. We encourage everyone to review these guidelines regularly for more information on these topics. Please visit the elevator and escalator safety pages on the NEII website at www.neii.org.

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org

​About Nicole Van Velzen

​Author

​With over 17 years of communications and marketing experience, Nicole Van Velzen joined NEII as the Director of Communications in August 2017. In this role, Ms. Van Velzen serves as a partner with NEII’s public relations firm to advance our mission through media and other outreach, manages the monthly Insider newsletter, increases awareness through social media channels, and works closely with NEII’s Communications Committee.


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Global Technical Barrier-Free Trade Agreement

Recently, the agreement of the World Elevator Federation to maintain a Global Technical Barrier-Free Trade Agreement (GTBFT) was updated to include the signature of the National Lift Union of Russia. In this agreement, which NEII has signed as well, global leaders in the industry formally committed to a common line of actions to achieve Global Technical Barrier-Free Trade in the framework as defined by the World Trade Organization for the benefit of consumers, the industry and ensuring sustainable development.

 

The objective of the agreement is to promote and improve safety, facilitate technological innovation and the free movement of goods worldwide. Worldwide acceptance of the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) prescriptive standards is also a part of the agreement that will lead to a simple and efficient global approach for building transportation equipment that can be used by all manufacturers and installers.

 

Click here to view the signed agreement.

NEII Rebrand

CENTREVILLE, VA. (May 1, 2019)

NATIONAL ELEVATOR INDUSTRY, INC. MARKS NEW ERA 

AS INDUSTRY LEADER WITH NEW VISUAL IDENTITY

NEII reveals new logo and website, and sets standards in motion

with renewed purpose for greater industry impact 

CENTREVILLE, VA (May 1, 2019) – The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) unveiled a new visual identity at their annual meeting last week, culminating years of organizational changes. Their new image reflects an expanded role as a leader of the building and vertical transportation industry and as a universally trusted resource for safety, codes and innovation in a fast evolving field.

“This rebrand and new website are significant milestones for our association. NEII has been undergoing a transition over the last few years, and the new look is a clear representation of a proactive and forward-thinking voice in the industry,” said NEII Executive Director Karen Penafiel. “In order to be the go-to resource for industry stakeholders, policymakers and others, NEII needed a contemporary platform to be consistent with our members as they innovate and adapt.”

NEII’s new logo introduces a modern design with shades of navy, yellow and white, and features two arrows, pointing in opposite directions, to represent elevator call buttons. The new website at neii.org provides easily-accessible information about NEII’s focus areas, including codes and standards, government affairs, safety, innovation and technology, and a variety of robust external resources. 

“Key stakeholders in the industry turn to NEII for technical information and data regarding safety, codes updates and guidance on new technologies,” said Kevin Brinkman, Vice President of Codes and Safety. “Our new identity and comprehensive website is much easier to navigate and provides a better understanding of the role we play in advancing safe and innovative products and technologies.”

 

This rebrand follows several major events for NEII in recent years, including:

  •  The hiring of Penafiel, a veteran of the buildings industry, as Executive Director.
  • Expanding the staff from one full time employee just 2.5 years ago to six full time employees today.
  • Partnering with other stakeholders to update the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators as well as relevant NFPA and ICC building codes every three years.
  • Implementing a comprehensive government affairs program to influence elevator safety legislation and regulations across the country.
  • Launched Elevator and Escalator Industry Cybersecurity Best Practices to provide a guideline to aid elevator and escalator manufacturers in designing systems that protect and manage against network based cyber-attacks. 

Penafiel added, “This is truly an exciting time for NEII. Our fresh image and vibrant website provide important content to propel the industry in these rapidly changing times.”

About NEII

NEII is the premier trade association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other building transportation products. NEII‘s membership includes the six major international companies – Fujitec America, Inc., KONE, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Otis Elevator Company, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Elevator Company and several other companies across the country. Collectively, the NEII members represent approximately eighty percent of the total hours worked within the elevator and escalator industry, employ more than 25,000 people in the U.S. and indirectly support hundreds of thousands of American jobs in affiliate industries. 

For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org


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Elevator/Escalator Industry Organizations Apply For New Technology Safety Accreditation

Not-for-profit Groups Seek Ability to Certify Elevator and Escalator Equipment for Safety
SALEM, N.Y. – (Jan 10, 2008) — The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) today announced that four organizations have applied to the American National Standards Institution (ANSI) for an esteemed industry accreditation. These four groups hope to become Accredited Elevator/Escalator Certification Organizations (AECOs), a distinction that recognizes credible, not-for-profit organizations and grants them the ability to certify elevator and escalator equipment for safety under the requirements of the newly-published Performance Based Safety Code (PBC) for Elevators and Escalators, ASME A17.7/CSA B44.7. The four applicants include:

  • Liftinstituut Holding BV, an international provider active in the field of technical safety;
  • TÜV Rheinland of North America, Inc., an international service group documenting the safety and quality of new and existing products, systems and services;
  • TÜV SÜD America Inc., a worldwide subsidiary of TÜV SÜD AG that focuses on industry, products and transportation; and
  • Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., a globally-known source for product compliance.

In addition to maintaining overall knowledge and experience with the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, ANSI requires that the individual AECOs be well-versed in the PBC, which provides an efficient, standardized method for establishing safety requirements for new elevator technologies. The PBC is considered an important complement to the 2007 version of the Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators – ASME A17.1/CSA B44 – which serves as the basis for the design, construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators and escalators in the U.S. and Canada.

Process Requirements
In order to certify an innovative product, the PBC requires that applicable Global Essential Safety Requirements (GESRs) be selected from a list in this Code. A comprehensive Risk Assessment is then carried out by the applicant to ensure that the applicable GESRs have been met. The applicant is required to produce a Code Compliance Document (CCD) that includes the risk assessment; design and testing information; and various procedures necessary for the safe operation, inspection and maintenance of the elevator over its life cycle. The role of the AECO is to review the CCD and to verify that the PBC requirements have been met. The AECO reviews the applicable GESRs to ensure that the process has been appropriately executed, the risk identification and mitigation process is complete, safety parameters have been applied as needed, and residual risks have been addressed. Upon completion of the PBC compliance review, and after careful scrutiny of the CCD, the AECO would issue a Certificate of Conformance, confirming the equipment complies with the PBC. The AECO would then audit the process to verify that the certified equipment is being manufactured and installed to the requirements defined in the CCD.

To ensure a peak level of AECO competence, accreditation according to ISO/IEC Guide 65 is required. Accreditation is provided by ANSI or the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the highest authorities in each country for national standards. Due to the superior standards set for the AECOs, this accreditation is held in high esteem by industry officials.

“AECOs are of vital importance to the industry as we continue to pursue adoption by local jurisdictions of the PBC as part of the latest Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators and for ensuring the safe and proper production of new equipment and technologies,” said Edward Donoghue, Managing Director of NEII. “Our mission has always been to encourage safe building transportation, and SCC’s and ANSI’s AECO program is an invaluable way to ensure proper processes are in effect for guaranteeing this safety.”

Applicants must meet several requirements to apply for AECO accreditation, including: proof of ownership of a certification mark and/or certificate of conformity, proof of the publicly available documents describing the applicant’s program, and a written description of the program, including a list of the standard(s) utilized and the identity of the inspection and laboratory body. Currently, the AECO applicants are still being reviewed and accreditation from ANSI may take up to another six months to complete the assessment process.

About NEII
The National Elevator Industry, Inc., is a national trade association representing the interests of corporations, firms or companies that, as part of their regular business, provide or perform any of the following: manufacture (including parts or components used by others in the manufacture, repair or maintenance), install, repair and maintain elevators, escalators, moving walks and related equipment. Trust membership is available to those corporations, firms, or companies who, as part of their regular business, employ members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) and contribute to the benefit trusts (Trusts) established by agreements between the IUEC and NEII. NEII strives to become the leader in promoting safe building transportation, as well as working with local government agencies to encourage the adoption and enforcement of the latest codes and standards. For more information about NEII or the PBC, log on to www.neii.org or www.pbc-elevators.com.

NEII Announces Strategic Restructuring Expanding Industry Influence

CENTREVILLE, VA (September 6, 2017) – The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) announced several new hires and promotions as it completes a major restructuring to become more effective industry advocates across the code, regulatory and legislative arenas. NEII promotes safety, innovation and performance in the building transportation industry throughout North America and is now well-positioned to drive that mission. 

With the NEII staff now in place, the building transportation industry has strengthened its position advocating for responsible public policy that promotes safe and consistent standards. The additional staff members deepen the organization’s reach and ability to be the definitive voice of the industry.

Since 1989, Penafiel has worked with the Building Owners Managers Association (BOMA) International, most recently as the Vice President of Advocacy, Codes and Standards. During her tenure, her focus was to establish BOMA as the premier commercial real estate association on legislative, regulatory and codes issues. In her 26 years at BOMA, she has held several positions within the advocacy division. In 2008, Penafiel was promoted to Vice President, Advocacy with Codes and Standards added to her role in 2012. Penafiel graduated from Hamilton College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government.

Codes and Safety
Kevin L. Brinkman has been promoted to vice president of codes and safety. Brinkman will continue to lead the industry to develop and adopt effective and consistent model elevator and escalator codes that protect the safety of workers and the riding public. Brinkman joined the NEII team two years ago as a consultant. Brinkman has been in the elevator and lift industry for almost 27 years. He previously served as the Vice President of Engineering for both the National Wheel-O-Vator Co. and ThyssenKrupp Access. In addition, he was the president and founder of Kevin L Brinkman & Associates, a consulting firm providing engineering support to elevator and lift companies.

Government Affairs
Amy J. Blankenbiller has been promoted to vice president of government affairs. Blankenbiller will oversee the expanding Government Affairs team and is responsible for leading the association’s legislative and regulatory efforts to advance safety and reliability. Blankenbiller joined NEII as a government affairs consultant in 2010. Formerly, Blankenbiller was the president and founder of AJB Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm working with associations, organizations and private businesses to implement government policy strategies, and President and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. 

To add to the advocacy fire power, Dylan Isenberg joined the team as NEII‘s new director of government affairs. Isenberg came to NEII from the Building Owners and Managers Association International, where he worked for two years as the association’s advocacy manager. Earlier in his career, Isenberg worked in the office of U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Communications
The newest addition to the team is Nicole Van Velzen, director of communications. Van Velzen will lead NEII‘s efforts to communicate the safety, reliability and technology advancements underway throughout the industry. Her vast experience includes marketing and copy writing for a variety of clients as owner of Larkspur Coordinations; marketing director for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence (KS); and public affairs director for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Project Management
Megan Hensley rounds out the team and provides research support to the codes and safety, government affairs and communications efforts as the association’s project manager. Hensley draws from a diverse background in education, coaching and event planning to serve as a strong team member, helping NEII and its staff operate most efficiently and effectively. 

“For the past few decades, NEII has been a highly regarded industry advocate – with just a handful of consultants and no full-time employees. Over the past year, we have grown to a staff of six with over 90 years of combined experience in the areas of advocacy, codes development, and association management expertise,” says Karen Penafiel, executive director, National Elevator Industry, Inc. “We are excited to see what our new team will accomplish as we continue working to advance elevator and escalator safety across the country.”

About NEII
The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) is the premier association representing the global leaders in the building transportation industry. Its members install, maintain, and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, and other related products. NEIIpromotes safe building transportation for new and existing products and technologies, and works with various organizations on the formation, adoption and enforcement of the latest building transportation codes and standards. NEIImembership includes the major elevator companies in the United States, if not the world. For more information about NEII, please visit www.neii.org.

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Contact: 
Sarah Lynch
Account Executive, G&S Business Communications
212-697-2600
slynch@gscommunications.com

Karen Penafiel
Executive Director, NEII
703-966-0321
kpenafiel@neii.org

Nicole Van Velzen
Director of Communications, NEII
785-424-4063
nvanvelzen@neii.org