About standards in lift construction

Bernhard Emch is Managing Director of the lift company EMCH and talks in an interview about safety and standards in lift construction, the leeway in the dense network of standards and shared responsibility.

6 min. Read time

For passengers, the lift is the safest of all vehicles - this stems not least from the shared responsibility of lift companies, building owners, service companies and the state as guardian. There is a lift ordinance with detailed regulations that Switzerland adopts completely from the EU.


For the lift company EMCH, such standards have a 90% internal impact on planning and testing and only 5% each on construction and aesthetics. Since the company only makes customised products, they have leeway with regard to the standards, but they always coordinate space, technology and construction. Each individual solution has to comply with the overriding standard, which is why each lift also undergoes a precise testing procedure.

Standards are not only restrictive; on the contrary, they can drive new inventions that become standard over time. A change in standards has an impact not only on new construction, but also on renovation and service, and is accordingly costly.

After the lift manufacturer has completed the lift construction, he simultaneously hands over the responsibility for control and modernisation to the homeowner, but always offers them support.



The comprehensive set of sandards makes lifs safe, briefs architecs and makes owners accountable. Information from a lif manufacurer.

Elisha Graves Otis was an unsuccessful inventor for many years. That all changed at the World Exhibition in New York in 1854. At this exhibition, a friend of Otis stood on a platform and was hoisted high into the air. Then Otis handed his friend an axe on a cushion to sever the rope holding that same platorm. The rope broke. The seca≠ tors cried in horror, but nothing happened to Otisí s friend, and the lif only dropped a couple of centimetres. An in visible fall arreser or governor device had prevented the platorm from crashing down because Otis had atached the rope to a hard seel sring. The weight of the platorm Text: Kˆ bi Gantenbein Photo: Mike Niederhauser had kept the sring tense until the rope tore. Then the sring relaxed and latched into the toothed gear rail next to the guide. ì All safe, gentlemenî , proclaimed Otis. The non≠ event was the highlight of the secacle. Otis was not only guaranteed fame and resec, as the inventor of a lif which would enhance living and working in skyscrapers, he had also revealed the myth of technology: its success is always a hairí s breadth from potential failure. What a lot of energy, skill and knowledge we exert trying avoiding that failure! Nevertheless, we sill have an uneasy feeling when we board an aeroplane or get into a car or even a lif ñ equipment not created for land animals. Bernhard Emch sudied engineering and, as Direcor of the Emch Elevator Company, is the fourth generation of the family to manage the company. The folding doors close and the lift leaves. Find out more about "Standards in lift construction" in our factsheet.

Download Factsheet