Do you still trust a Lift?

I read an interesting article today about how on Monday, 13 people were trapped in one of the courts lifts (elevator) at the Johannesburg High court.

When the group were rescued, three people had passed out – two from the heat and one after suffering an asthma attack. A Few weeks ago the same thing happened at Johannesburg Hospital (now called the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital)

This poses some debatable questions. How can we put our trust in the courts, if we cannot trust the building in which it is housed?

Levels of maintenance creates perceptions, sometimes unwanted.

It also raises questions about risk appetite. The other day I was in a lift in a building,going from the 13th floor to the bottom. On our disembarkment, I asked the CFO about whether the company had a policy stating that key executives should not travel in the same plane or car together.

He stated affirmative, upon which I said: ”But we all got in the same lift together” – there were three of us.

Last year, the Department of Labour conducted spot-checks on lifts in Durban, discovering that in more than 55% of cases, they were not adequately serviced.

Now, some will say, that lift accidents do not happen often…the probability is low. Sure, but the organisation’s reputation is still tarnished.

Customers experiences in a lift creates anticipation for future assocations with the institution.  The mere fact that I read about the level of maintenance, says clearly that the reputation of the institution is being affected.

And that, can take longer to repair, than some maintenance schedule.

(For those interested to find out how an elevator works, go to