Department of Labor and Workforce Development



Deborah K. Henderson
Public Information Officer
615/741-2257 (O)
615/672-3892 (H)


NASHVILLE – What do elevators, escalators, chairlifts, aerial tramways, and dumbwaiters have in common? State officials say this industry is considered the number one mode of mass transportation in Tennessee, and they are inspected by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to insure public safety.

Commissioner Michael E. Magill, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, today announced that Tennessee law requires state agency inspectors to semi-annually inspect more than 8,500 elevators, escalators, chair-lifts, aerial trams, and dumbwaiters across Tennessee.

Today, state inspectors completed a clean-sweep inspection of some 320 mass transit units in the Gatlinburg area in preparation for tourist season. Inspections for code compliance here takes place in April and October to avoid interruption of service to the public. "With Gatlinburg being one of the biggest tourist attractions in the United States, we want to be sure that Tennessee’s ski lifts, trams, and elevators are working properly," Magill said.

To insure the safety of business owners, residents, and visitors, the state inspectors check cables, speed, braking devices, and other safety mechanisms twice a year to identify any potential hazards that might show up. "After they are considered safe, the inspectors will renew or issue new permits, which means that safety standards set by state law and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers have been met or exceeded," Magill explained.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development has 17 elevator inspectors who make approximately 17,000 inspections per year and are subject to investigate accidents anytime. The inspectors also review approximately 600 new elevator and escalator applications per year. This includes construction plans, inspecting the units for operation approval, and issuing the license.

Statistics reveal that there are approximately 700,000 elevators and escalators in use in North America with millions of passengers transported daily. Actual total usage, or "rides" taken on these transportation systems, is estimated to be 210 billion each year, or equivalent to moving twice the population of the United States and Canada each day!



The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

El Departmento del Trabajo y Desarrolo de la Fuerza Laboral de Tennessee es un patrono que ofrece igualdad de empleo. Ayudas auxiliaries están disponibles para individuos con impedimentos.


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