Permits? Please. Just Ask FAMA

Permits? Please. Just Ask FAMA


Last week, The Arka Tech was contacted about potential safety concerns regarding out-of-code and outdated elevator permits displayed in campus elevators. 

According to the Administrative Rules of the Elevator Safety Board, State of Arkansas, elevator permits “must be posted conspicuously in the car of the elevator or lift.” 

Many of the elevators at ATU currently feature a sign stating that elevator permits are available upon request rather than having copies of the permits in the elevators themselves. 

“Elevator certificates are a tricky, interesting beast,” said Drew Dickey, ATU Facilities Management faculty director. 

According to Dickey, elevators must be inspected by an official elevator inspector for deficiencies, have those deficiencies fixed, have the elevators pass safety tests administered by an elevator repair company, and then have documentation of the entire process sent to the state to obtain an elevator permit.  

“We schedule [elevator inspections] every year a year in advance,” Dickey said. “We literally tell the elevator inspector what’s the first date you can be here because we want the most heads up we can have.”  

Dickey continued, explaining that one of the main reasons for the delay in elevator permits being updated was caused by employee attrition at the elevator permitting office for Arkansas.  

“They lost all their employees except one,” Dickey said. “We filed everything on time with the state of Arkansas and they just had a high, high volume of work and didn’t turn it around as quickly as they typically do because they only had one employee,” Dickey continued. 

Dickey also said that a state elevator inspector, Kenneth McCormick, had abruptly shown up at his office after receiving an anonymous complaint submitted on the state’s online portal concerning the lack of properly displayed permits.  

“We actually went and toured 5 elevators on campus that day and he found no deficiencies,” Dickey said. “He actually got back to the office, made some phone calls, and then we have all the updated elevator certificates in my office right now,” Dickey continued. 

Concerning the “available upon request” signs in the elevators, Dickey said that this was done to help streamline work for campus maintenance and keep the permits from getting vandalized.  

“We have a Department of Labor safety inspection coming up in the next couple of months, and that’s one of the topics we’re going to talk through is how much wiggle room do we have on putting the permits in the cab of the elevator,” Dickey said. 

Overall, Dickey said that the elevators on campus “have been inspected and are safe for student use.” 

“We want to be as accessible as possible to students. If there is ever a problem, our heart is always to communicate,” Dickey concluded. 

Dickey said that if students had any questions or concerns regarding campus facilities, they could contact FAMA through their official Instagram account, @facilities_atu, through email, or through a work order.