1. Home
  2. News
  3. An interview with LiftSafe’s...

An interview with LiftSafe’s founder – Stewart Proctor

30th October 2023

Stewart Proctor 2022

What is your experience in the lift industry?
I’ve been in the lift industry for over 35 years, starting as an apprentice then gaining experience as a fitter, engineer, installer and project manager, through to becoming a consultant. In 2008 I launched Elevating Safety Solutions (ESS) to provide lift and escalator compliance solutions, support and training. To compliment ESS, I have launched LiftSafe, both of which I hope will make a positive difference to the lift industry.

Briefly summarise what LiftSafe is?
LiftSafe is a database of qualified lift engineers – it allows lift companies and contractors to find subcontractors across the UK free-of-charge, ensuring safer on-site working.

Why did you launch LiftSafe?
Many years ago, when I was working on a construction site as a fitter a scaffold clip was kicked down a lift shaft which nearly hit me. Had it done so, it could have been fatal. This triggered my mindset about how I could influence the industry and make it safer for all stakeholders, which is something I have been doing for most of my career ever since. I believe that launching LiftSafe is one way I can make a very significant difference.

What is included on the LiftSafe database?
Only lift engineers who have been fully verified against our criteria, based on their qualifications and training will be listed on the LiftSafe database. And continued inclusion requires engineers to keep up to date with their training.

Additionally, under ISO 9001, lift companies and contractors are legally required to check and manage their subcontractors. LiftSafe does this for them through our auditing process.

LiftSafe therefore ticks two boxes. It ensures that engineers comply with the required forms of training and secondly, it enables lift companies and contractors to show they are compliant with ISO 9001. Ultimately this promotes a safer working environment in the industry, which is the overall purpose of LiftSafe.

What are the benefits of LiftSafe?
For contractors LiftSafe allows them to quickly find a trained engineer who is compliant with industry regulations and has the necessary qualifications for the job. It also means the contractor remains compliant with ISO 9001 regulations because they can demonstrate their subcontractors are legally able to work on site, including auditing and verifying qualifications, as well as checking their insurances and training records. Without LiftSafe this can be a very time-consuming process that can put a strain on resources.

For the subcontractor there is no longer any need to fill out a subcontractor approval form for every company they work for, as their profile will be available on LiftSafe for contractors to view. LiftSafe also encourages engineers to keep their skills, qualifications etc up to date with reminders and give access to training programmes to help engineers stay up to date with industry standards. Finally, LiftSafe provides a way to promote a company and its engineers to contractors, which can ultimately lead to more opportunities.

What is your ultimate goal with LiftSafe?
Our greatest success will be if we can bring the number of accidents and injuries down in the UK – this would be a huge accomplishment.

What has the response been so far?
Really positive. It was difficult not to spread the word before launching, but for the few I did discuss it with, they were very enthusiastic and were keen to be one of the first to have their engineers listed. They can see the benefits for the industry which is what I want to get across.

Do you have any future plans for LiftSafe?
Yes, I hope to incorporate a register for LOLER inspectors.

Do you have any other ambitions, work or other?
I recently completed a Master’s Degree in Lift Engineering so I’m quite tempted to do my PHD – I can’t stop learning!

When you are not working, how do you like to relax (if that’s possible)?
I wouldn’t call it relaxing but I like to keep active in my spare time and enjoy a game of squash and taking my two dogs for walks. I’ve also taken up shooting which I’m really enjoying (just don’t get on the wrong side of me 😉).

Finally, if you were going to be stranded on a deserted island what one thing would you take?
A full set of lift standards so that I could review and recommend revisions to them.