Boston Herald Report Shows Massachusetts Elevator Inspections Lacking

According to a new report published by the Boston Herald, at least 20% of elevators in Massachusetts (an estimated 8,500) have not had their yearly safety inspections, as required by law. The Herald says that while the numbers are high, a state safety watchdog anticipates those figures are “low-balling” the issue.

As of March 2015, state official had evaluated just shy of 80% of about 41,000 elevators in Massachusetts, according to the Herald who had obtained documents from the Department of Public Safety. That means that approximately 8,600 elevators have not been properly inspected this year.

It seems this problem is ongoing; the Herald reported that State Auditor Suzanne Bump had taken issue with the public safety department back in November 2014, after an audit revealed that some 14,200 elevators had expired inspection certificates.

“Our audit found that, in addition to backlogs in inspections, DPS’s record keeping database was inaccurate,” Bump said in a statement to the Herald. She pointed out that in dozens of elevators her investigators checked, more than half had certificates with different information than the public safety department’s database.

“While we certainly hope their inspection rate is improving,” Bump said, “we don’t know if these recent reports are accurate.” (

Officials have claimed that they will hire more elevator inspectors, but as of last week, the Herald reported, they had just 55—just one more since May 2014 when a woman was seriously injured when she fell down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park.


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