NEII Position on the Adoption of ASME A17.1/CSA B44-16

The most effective way of ensuring the safety of the riding public as well as elevator personnel is by the adoption of the latest version of the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. This state-of-the-art code is widely used throughout North America and is updated regularly. The code represents the optimum in safety as it is developed and refined by hundreds of experienced experts representing all aspects of the elevator industry. Such expertise is drawn from enforcing authorities, mechanical and electrical engineering and design experts, inspectors, consultants, labor authorities, building and facility owners, and installation and maintenance specialists.

The code development process consists of a thorough consensus-building protocol which invites examination of proposed code language and the opportunity to comment on and suggest modifications to such language. The process also includes the opportunity for a thorough public review of any proposed language. In view of the thoroughness of the process, all issues are examined in-depth, and pitfalls and shortcomings are fully addressed before publication of the code.

Particular attention is given to requirements for acceptance and periodic inspection as well as ongoing maintenance. Such requirements are regularly updated to ensure the highest levels of safety.
Adoption of the most recent version of the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 code without modification in all jurisdictions ensures a uniform high level of safety throughout North America. 


ASME A17.1-2016/CSA B44-16 is the latest version of the code, published November 30, 2016 with an effective date of May 30, 2017. Some of the important enhancements in this edition of the code are as follows:

  • Added requirements for hoistway access switch location, Phase I recall operation with closed hoistway doors, escalator braking distance monitor, and requirements for elevators not in automatic operation.
  • Updated seismic requirements for consistency with the ICC International Building Code, the National Building Code of Canada, and ASCE 7.
  • Updated overhead clearance requirements to compensate for removal of refuge space in earlier edition. Updated requirements for Rack & Pinion and Special Purpose Personnel Elevators. Moved Wind Turbine Elevator requirements to new A17.8 document.
  • Reduced hoistway door to car door clearances on Private Residence elevators and added car door deflection and strength criteria. Updated and clarified several requirements for existing elevators and alterations.

NEII is committed to public and elevator personnel safety and is ready to support the authorities having jurisdiction in understanding the latest version of the code and assisting in the process of adoption. To this end NEII provides information and training on the code and related issues, using webinars and podcasts in addition to meetings with interested parties.

The NEII Central Code Committee is responsible for maintaining this position paper. This position paper shall be in effect for three (3) years from the date of approval by the NEII Central Code Committee.

NEII Central Code Committee: July 19, 2017

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, TK 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. 

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