Lift Regulations & Lift Standards

In buildings and public spaces across the UK, lifts are everywhere, helping to transport people and goods to achieve accessibility for all and efficiency of movement. And whether you are specifying, designing, building or maintaining a lift or moving-walkway there are legal requirements that need to be adhered to.

This resource page is your one-stop-shop for guidance on the standards and regulations that apply to the lift industry. Book mark this page and reference it frequently. It’s all about keeping you up-to-date with the latest changes to ensure you are complying to the standards and regulations that keep lifts safe and working well for all users.

Building Regulations
Government Legislation
Lift Design Standards
Lift Specification Standards
Regulations for Lift Owners

Building Regulations

Part B

Building Regulations, Approved Document B (Part B) gives guidance for building fire safety within and around buildings. Volume 1 is for dwellings and Volume 2 is for buildings other than dwellings. 

Part M

Building Regulations, Approved Document M (Part M), specifically deals with regulations for buildings where Volume 1 is for dwellings and Volume 2 is for buildings other than dwellings. In Volume 2 General design considerations are covered to ensure adherence to the Equality Act for the horizontal and vertical movement of people and then specific guidance is given for lift types from platform lifts, to passenger lifts and wheelchair platform lifts.

Section 4.2 - Technical Handbook Scotland

The equivalent of Part M in England, Section 4.2 outlines the mandatory standards in Scotland to ensure your building is accessible to all users. It covers requirements for access to a building, within a building and between storeys, not only for new buildings but when adapting existing ones too. Read more detail about Section 4.2.


Government Legislation

Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995

See Equality Act 2010. The DDA was introduced over 20 years ago and formed an invaluable set of standards to support a society where disabled people and those with long-term health conditions can participate fully as equal citizens. It eventually became part of the Equality Act.

Equality Act 2010

Formerly the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) the Equality Act 2010, which also encompasses former sex and race discrimination acts, is now a single act that’s in place to protect people from all forms of discrimination. For building owners this means removing barriers to inclusivity by ensuring fair and equal access for all. Read more about what it means for you.

The Lifts Regulations 2016

The Lifts Regulations 2016 (No. 1093), which replaced the Lift Directive 2014/33/EU, is only applied to lifts when they are first placed on the market and put into service. It covers lifts transporting people, people and goods, and goods on their own if the carrier is accessible. These regulations apply to any product carrying passengers with a speed of over 0.15 metres a second - such as hydraulic and traction passenger lifts or passenger/goods lifts.

The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

Replacing the Machinery Directive, the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 (No. 1597) sets out essential safety requirements that all machines placed on the market in the UK have to meet. It covers any product carrying passengers and goods with speeds inclusive of and under 0.15 metres a second. This includes escalators and moving walkways, platform lifts, goods and service lifts, and chair lifts.


Lift Design Standards


Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method is a rating system that awards points for passenger lifts, moving walkways and escalators in newly constructed buildings. The framework ensures high performance, sustainable value and efficiency in projects. Read more about BREEAM for lifts, escalators & moving walkways.

BS 5266-10:2011

Guidance on the design and provision of emergency escape lighting of premises.

BS 8300:2018 - Part 1 and 2

BS8300-1 gives design guidance for achieving an accessible and inclusive external built environment. This includes extra considerations for lifts and escalators on streets, in parks, outside buildings, in train stations at public attractions and more, all to ensure access is suitable for not only disabled people but all users. Read more BS8300-1 specifics for lifts.

Part 2 provides guidance on access within buildings, including the facilities that should be provided inside buildings

BS 9999 and BS 9991

Best practice standards for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings during evacuation - for the purpose of safeguarding building occupants and firefighters. BS 9999 focuses on non-residential buildings, BS 9991 covers residential buildings.

ISO/DIS 25745-1 - energy consumption

This International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard DIS 25745-1 is in response to the rapid increase in the consumption of energy on a worldwide basis. The standard provides a uniform method of measuring the energy consumption of all lifts, escalators and moving walkways newly installed or in operation.

Light Reflectance Values (LRV)

LRV measures how much light a colour reflects and absorbs. It is important for deciding on the right surfaces and finishes for your lifts, specifically for the visually impaired as the LRV of the materials you use can impact their experience of using your lift. Read more in our quick guide to Light Reflectance Values.


Lift Specification Standards

For Lift Regulations

BS EN 81-3:2000 - service lifts

Covers the safety rules for the construction and installation of electric and hydraulic service lifts - whereby they have defined landing levels and a car, the interior of which is regarded as inaccessible to people on account of its dimensions and means of construction.

BS EN 81-20:2020 - lift shafts

When designing buildings, this standard must be considered as it applies to the design of the lift shaft. For the most part, the design requirements of EN81-20 will be covered by the lift manufacturer and stated in the builder's work drawings. Read our 5 FAQs on lift standard EN81-20:2020

BS EN 81-21:2018

Safety rules for the construction and installation of new passenger lifts, goods passenger lifts and complete lift modernisation in existing buildings. With specific details and alternative solutions for circumstances where there are limitations due to building constraints.

BS EN 81-28:2018 - lift alarms

BS EN81-28 specifies the technical requirements relating to passenger and goods passenger lift remote alarm systems, covering alarm activation and transmission, use and maintenance and testing. New lifts must be fitted with a two-way communication device and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off means existing lifts will need transitioning from analogue phone lines to other digital alternatives by 2025.

BS EN 81-31:2010 - accessible goods lifts

Providing safety rules for the construction and installation of goods-only lifts - for the purposes of safeguarding people and objects against the risk of accidents associated with the use, maintenance and emergency operation of accessible goods only lifts.

BS EN81-50:2020

This standard covers safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts - for safety and accessibility benefits for both lift passengers and service engineers. It covers design rues, calculations, tests and examinations for lift components and is the standard that lift installation companies like Stannah need to conform to. Read our 5 FAQs on lift standard EN81-50:2020

BS EN 81-70:2018

Outlines the minimum requirements for safe access and use of passenger and goods passenger lifts by all people, including people with disabilities.

BS EN 81-71:2018 - vandal resistance

A standard focused on additional security and other measures to improve the vandal-resistance of passenger lifts and goods passenger lifts - whereby the location and environment of the installed lift indicate protective measures against deliberate acts of vandalism may be warranted.

BS EN 81-72:2020 - firefighting lifts

BS EN 81-72:2020 applies to new passenger and goods passenger lifts also used for firefighting and evacuation purposes. The standard covers the list of significant hazards, safety requirements and protective measures, verification and information for safe construction, installation and use.

BS EN 81-73:2020

BS EN 81-73:2020 describes the safety rules and behaviour of new passenger lifts and goods passenger lifts in a fire (those that are not specifically firefighting or evacuation lifts). This standard may also be used as a basis to improve the safety of existing passenger and goods passenger lifts.

BS EN 81-76:2011- **new draft**

A new draft standard all about the evacuation of disabled persons using passenger and goods passenger lifts. Find more details from LEIA here.

BS EN 115: Part 1&2

Safety requirements for escalators and moving walkways. Part 1 is about safeguarding people and objects against risks of accidents during installation, operation, maintenance and inspection work. Part 2 covers rules for the improvement of safety of existing escalators and moving walks. For more about escalators and moving walkway standards read our full guide.

BS EN 5656 - Part 1, 2 & 3

BS EN 5656 Part 1 covers the examination and testing of new escalators before they are put into service and should be used in conjunction with BS EN 115. Part 2 is the code of practice for selection, installation and location of new escalators and moving walkways and part 3 covers the examination and testing (used to determine compliance) for new moving walks. For more about escalators and moving walkway standards read our full guide.

For Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations

BS EN 81-40:2020

This standard is all about safe construction and installation of stairlifts and inclined lifting platforms intended for persons with impaired mobility. Generally those moving one person over a stair or inclined surface, such as standing platform and wheelchair platform lifts.

BS EN 81-41:2010

BS EN 81-41 describes specific standards for vertical lifting platforms with an enclosed liftway operating between levels - intended for use by people with impaired mobility, with or without wheelchairs.

BS EN 81-42 - **coming soon**

Standard BS EN 81-42 is coming soon, it will cover low-speed lifts (expected to cover cabin platform lifts). Currently, cabin platform lifts must comply with the applicable parts of relevant standards, in particular BS EN 81-41 (for vertical lifting platforms intended for use by persons with impaired mobility) and BS EN 81-70.

BS 6440:2011

Provides safety standards for the manufacture, installation and maintenance of powered vertical lifting platforms with non-enclosed or partially enclosed liftway intended for use by persons with impaired mobility.

BS 5900:2012

This standard focuses on powered home lifts in domestic single-occupancy dwellings, intended for the transport of persons with impaired mobility, standing or seated with or without a wheelchair, travelling vertically between two predefined levels.


Regulations for Lift Owners

BS EN 81-80:2003 - upgrading for lift safety

BS EN 81-80:2003 is part of the European Standard EN 81. It covers rules for the upgrading of existing lifts to ensure they are safe to use. This is done through a process of risk assessment, hazard identification and severity grading to identify lift modernisation works required for improved safety levels.. Read more about BS EN 81-80 and existing lift safety here.

BS EN 81-82:2013 - upgrading for accessibility

This standard offers rules for upgrading existing lifts for people with disability - providing guidance and addressing where additional measures may be required to improve the accessibility of the lift and access to each level of the building. Read more about lift modernisation benefits here.

CEN TS 81-83:2009 - upgrading for vandal resistance

CEN TS 81-83 outlines the rules for upgrading existing lifts to improve vandal resistance. It provides guidance for existing lifts installed in buildings where additional security or other measures may be required to protect against deliberate acts that may result in equipment damage or personal injury.

BS EN 13015:2001 - lift & escalator maintenance

BS EN 13015:2001 incorporates amendment 1 2008 (+A1:2008) and outlines necessary instructions for the correct and proper maintenance of passenger lifts, goods passenger lifts, accessible goods only lifts, service lifts, escalators and passenger conveyors. Read more about lift & escalator maintenance here.

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act covers occupational health and safety in Great Britain. It outlines the general duties you as an employer have to your employees and members of the public. It also outlines what duties employees have to themselves and each other.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR)

MHSW regulations require employers to implement processes and procedures to control health and safety risks. From risk assessments and policies to ongoing preventative and protective measures. For lifts see our guidance on LOLER lift examinations.

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR)

Manual handling regulations exist to protect staff from potential injury when their job requires them to move goods frequently and regularly. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to manage health and safety and control the manual handling risks in your workplace.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER specifically requires lifting equipment owned and operated by companies to be strong and stable for its intended use, positioned and installed appropriately as well as inspected regularly by competent people by thorough examination. Compliance to LOLER is done by examinations that are in addition to regular servicing. Read our guide on LOLER Thorough Lift Examination & Supplementary Tests.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

PUWER requires any risks to peoples health and safety, from equipment that they use at work, to be prevented or controlled. This consists of supplying suitable and safe equipment, training users and providing extra safety measures like signage and protective clothing. Lifts are covered by PUWER and compliance can be achieved by regular lift maintenance and lift servicing.