Compliance Standards: Escalator Owners and Operators

These compliance standards lists for escalator owners and operators are used by TSSA inspectors during periodic inspections.

Compliance standards are lists of high-risk non-compliances that pose a significant risk to safety. Any high-risk non-compliances should be immediately addressed upon occurrence.

These compliance standards lists for escalator owners and operators are used by Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspectors during periodic inspections. 

If a non-compliance is found, a device may be shut down or an order issued to resolve the non-compliance within 14 days. Other non-compliances that do not pose the same level of risk should be addressed in accordance with the timeline documented in the inspector's report.

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Escalator Owner / Operator Responsibilities

Escalator owners and operators are responsible for verifying that proper operating and maintenance procedures are being followed to ensure public safety, and have specific responsibilities for escalator safety under the following regulations:

Incident reporting

Important Note Regarding Barricades

When contractors complete any work on an escalator, they must ensure barricades or other guards are placed around the escalators or moving walks and shall be so secured in place as to prevent any passerby from gaining access to the escalator or moving walk by simple actions, such as lifting and pushing the barricade aside or by stepping* over the barricade whenever work is completed on the device.

*Note: Based on the Ontario Building Code [re: guards], barricades of at least 1,070 millimetres (42 inches) in height should meet the intent of this part of the requirement.

Important Reminders for Owners and Operators

  • Daily start-up – Ensure the daily start-up is completed by a trained person. Several the checks below are contained in the daily start up.

  • Public safety – Always ensure public safety by prohibiting access to escalators when performing inspections.  

  • Signage – Ensure required signs and data plates are not damaged or missing.

  • Noises and vibrations – Report any unusual noises or vibrations to your maintenance contractor.

  • Certified mechanics  Ensure that any work on an escalator, other than tasks described in this compliance standard, is performed by a certified escalator mechanic.

  • Escalator licence renewals and changes – Authorization by TSSA is a key requirement for site/facility operations. Submit your renewal application, including payment of the renewal fee, prior to the expiration date to ensure there are no undue interruptions to your site’s/facility’s operations. Failure to do so by the expiry date may result in an inspection and/or a shutdown order. Report any changes or updates to your license to TSSA Customer Service at 1-877-682-8772.

  • Alterations – Ensure that your maintenance contractor has filed a TSSA submission and arranged for an inspection for all alterations.

Compliance standards / High-risk items for escalators

The components listed below are high-risk items that must be checked daily if they are in the Start-Up Procedure. Items that are not in the Start-Up Procedure should be checked every three months.

During the periodic inspection, TSSA will be checking the following items and orders will be issued for non-compliance.

Note: In some circumstances, orders may be issued where high-risk safety hazards are discovered which are not identified in this standard.

 SHUT DOWN  – If an item is deficient and an order is issued for immediate compliance (0 days for the compliance time):

  • Remove the device from service, and

  • Repair before putting it back into service.

A repair can be done immediately during the maintenance unless it is a reportable incident according to the Incident Reporting Guidelines. Even if it is a reportable incident, a TSSA Supervisor or Investigator can authorize an immediate repair.

 REPAIR / REPLACE  – If the item is deficient and an order is issued for compliance within a 14-day time period:

  • Fix as required.

For convenience, high-risk items are listed on the Escalator Compliance Standards Summary Checklist for Owners and Operators.

Download a copy of this escalator components illustration (pdf).


IssueCompliance Order
Verify that all required maintenance and tests are completed and indicated in the maintenance logbook. This can be accomplished by having your contractor send you electronic updates.
If the licence has expired. REPAIR / REPLACE 

Operation – Emergency Stop Button and Stopping Distance

IssueCompliance Order
If any of the emergency stop buttons are inoperative. SHUT DOWN 
If the escalator stopping distance is not within the range stated on the Daily Stopping Distance check sign. SHUT DOWN  and BARRICADE 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
If any steps are damaged or have missing components. SHUT DOWN  and BARRICADE 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
If combplates are not in good condition or two adjacent teeth are missing. SHUT DOWN 
Examples – View photos

Skirt Panels and Balustrades\

IssueCompliance Order
If panels on either side of the escalator are worn, damaged, out of alignment or defective. SHUT DOWN 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
If the handrail speed does not match the speed of the steps. SHUT DOWN 
If there are cracks or pinch hazards in the handrail. SHUT DOWN and CONTACT YOUR CONTRACTOR 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
If any ceiling intersection guards are not in place. CONTACT YOUR CONTRACTOR 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
 If outer deck barricades are not secured in place. SHUT DOWN 
Examples – View photos


IssueCompliance Order
If any lighting that is part of the escalator is not in good working condition. CONTACT YOUR CONTRACTOR 
If any ambient lighting is inadequate. CONTACT YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER
If there are any obstacles or slip and trip hazards on landings. CONTACT YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER
Examples – View photos