Doors start to open on an elevator in Everett on Thursday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Doors start to open on an elevator in Everett on Thursday. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Elevator inspection backlog violates Washington state law

The Department of Labor and Industries says the backlog was caused by a building boom.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington state auditors say an investigation revealed elevators and escalators are not annually inspected as required by state law.

KING-TV reported Wednesday that the Department of Labor and Industries did not inspect more than half of the state’s 18,000 conveyances in 2018.

Investigators say thousands of conveyances did not have inspections for two or three years, and three were not inspected in over 10 years.

Department officials say the backlog was caused by a building boom that generated more elevators and escalators needing inspections.

Officials say the state also struggled to retain inspectors, but additional funding has allowed the department to pay higher salaries and add additional inspectors.

Officials say private insurance policies require conveyance inspections multiple times a year. The state department only serves as a check and balance.

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