Safety Codes and Standards

ASME's Breadth of Offerings

ASME offers the public and private sectors a comprehensive portfolio of codes and standards offerings, which govern elevators and escalators. The Society develops and maintains eight major codes addressing safety in design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, testing, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators, moving walks, material lifts, and dumbwaiters with automatic transfer devices, wheelchair lifts, or inclined-stairway chair lifts. Thus, ASME extends its broad perspective on safety across a full range of industry products and applications.

ASME On the Cutting Edge

ASME continues to set the pace in the elevator-and-escalator industry. Its A17 Elevator and Escalator Committee has successfully released a series of bi-national codes in concert with the Canadian Standards Association.

One of these new bi-national codes, A17.7-2007/CSA B44.7-07, serves as a model for the parallel existence of a prescriptive technical code and a performance-based standard, covering the same equipment within a regulated industrial sector. This combination introduces flexibility to an industry that is sometimes best served by clearly defined rules (prescriptive) and other times needs performance targets that can be met by a wide range of solutions, encouraging competition in the industry.

ASME is pleased to add this progressive approach to its own proven methodologies as yet another contribution to fostering international trade and technology transfer.

ASME's codes and standards offerings in elevators and escalators are detailed in the following pages. These include codes and standards in both print and digital formats, along with companion training courses and videos. We strive to provide the codes-of-choice for your company…and your country.

The Industry Speaks about ASME Safety Codes and Standards

In terms of importance of ASME Codes and Standards across the entire spectrum, it's important to recognize the Society publishes something over 500 standards. They affect equipment and comfort features of our lives every way and every day, from a heating system, a cooling system, an elevator, an escalator, elements of your automobiles, bolts, nuts, fasteners, plumbing, the list is endless. But these are safety aspects that contribute to the quality of life. In part, this is what engineers do. So while much of the populous may never realize that their life is touched and impacted by ASME Codes and Standards, rare is the day that it isn't.

— James W. Coaker, Coaker & Co. PC

Our intention is safety. We want make sure that everybody else in the industry does the same thing. And you can only do that by having a uniform standard, because otherwise everyone will have their own interpretations of how safety should be implemented. The standards create a baseline for safety in the broadest context and this contribution is immeasurably valuable ...Because of the consensus process we have over here—which has a tremendous amount of scrutiny and a tremendous amount of thought and effort involved in the upfront process of developing standards—the standards are of an extremely high quality.

— Louis Bialy, Director, Worldwide Codes & Standards, Otis Elevator Co.

I think the ASME Codes and Standards committees' most important work is to be able to provide consistency throughout the nation and through North America…An elevator is an elevator and if you build an elevator in California, you should be able to sell it in Ohio, and if you build it in Ohio, you should be able to sell it in Ontario. As such, I think the consistency across the board with the North American standards has allowed that to occur; provide a base level of safety, and allow each jurisdiction to be able to enforce it properly.

— Norman B. Martin, Chief Elevator Inspector, State of Ohio

People physically interact with elevators routinely to the degree that they take it for granted every day. The first thing they do when they come to work is come into a building, push the button, get in the elevator, and ride the elevator up to their workstation, and do that throughout the day and return home. That interaction requires that there be a very high degree of focus on public safety in the transportation systems. The fact that ASME is able to support the administrative effort of the A17 work is very important, because the focus of the elevator industry has always been on public safety. So I think that's a tremendous benefit to the elevator industry to have that capability administered by ASME.

— Robert S. "Bob" Caporale, Editor, Elevator World, Inc.

Participating on ASME Codes and Standards Committees

The success of ASME Codes & Standards is founded on enduring relationships with stakeholders in a broad range of industries. Our most valuable assets are our relationships with the volunteer members who serve on Codes & Standards committees. ASME Safety Codes and Standards are developed in a committee setting to ensure balanced participation and open access to public interest groups.

Committee Composition

ASME safety committee(s) and supporting technical subcommittee(s) consist of experts from various stake-holder groups, who provide their time and resources on a voluntary basis. The success of ASME codes and standards is based on technical and operational experience from stakeholders drawn from a broad range of industries. Volunteer members who participate on ASME committee(s) play a vital role in ensuring that the safety and design requirements contained in the standards remain relevant to the ever-changing work environment and equipment. They also gain unique opportunities to expand their professional networks and technical resources.

Membership Participation

There are no fees or geographical restrictions associated with membership on ASME Committee activities and ASME membership, while desirable, is not required.

Applicants are selected based primarily on technical expertise. ASME uses an Internet-based, voting-and-tracking system, which allows committee members and other interest parties to participate in ongoing business from anywhere in the world. The committee meets on an on-going basis, as needed, to discuss changing industry needs and best operational practices.

About ASME Safety Codes and Standards

ASME plays an active role in protecting the public through the development of Safety Codes and Standards, which are managed by the Board on Safety Codes and Standards (BSCS). The BSCS is responsible for the management of all ASME activities related to codes, standards, and accreditation and certification programs directly applicable to safety codes, safety standards, and related accreditation and certification activities. The BSCS oversees the following:

  • A13 Scheme for the Identification of Piping Systems
  • A17 Elevators and Escalators
  • A18 Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts
  • A90 Safety Standards for Manlifts
  • A120 Safety Requirements for Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance
  • B20 Safety Standards for Conveyors and Related Equipment
  • B30 Safety Standards Committee for Cableways, Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks, and Slings
  • BTH Standards Committee, Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices
  • CSDAFB Controls and Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers
  • Portable Automotive Lifting Devices Committee
  • Rail Transit Vehicle Standards Committee
  • P30 Planning for the Use of Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks, and Slings


Help Shape ASME

Engineers make up ASME, and it's that passion and knowledge that literally runs the world.

By volunteering you can learn new skills, help the world, and influence the ASME of tomorrow.

Read more about volunteering at ASME

You are now leaving