In May 2020, Miami-Dade County Deputy Chief Elevator Inspector shared with the contractor that he was amazed at the series of disability safety devices found on the next elevators and escalators. Miami International Airport..
“Remind you and everyone at Oracle Elevator Co. that deliberately disabling a safety device or circuit is not only a code violation, but also a law violation,” said the Deputy Inspector. Allen Morris emailed Oracle on May 8, 2020. I was hired by Miami-Dade to maintain my mobile device at MIA. “God forbids passengers from being injured or killed because of this negligence.”
The email describes a surge in improper wiring of equipment managed by Oracle, one of the Tampa-based companies, hired by MIA to keep elevators, escalators and sidewalks up and running in one of the countries. It captures an ongoing story at a county-owned airport. The busiest airport.
Elevator safety alert at Miami International Airport
Union leaders claim that Oracle recklessly endangered the public by leaving the shortcuts in place and disabling safety features to keep the equipment running. “They did their best to polish this under the rug,” he said. Greg Levenson, Vice President of Local 71 Branch of the International Elevator Builders Union, which represents MIA’s elevator mechanics. “It doesn’t matter if someone is injured, but when someone is injured.”
Oracle executives sought to cast union accusations as a systematic tactic for hiring Oracle employees. The company also cites sabotage, claiming that a “third party” is behind some of the bypass wiring currently in use to try to remove the company from the airport contract. The company and county managers said multiple inspections in 2021 did not show a repeat of past problems with Oracle elevators.
But when the County Commission’s Airport Commission conducted a brief investigation into what happened to Oracle following an outside union press conference blaming the company on Tuesday, the wiring that did it was at the courthouse. It has been published.
“How comfortable do you feel that someone is giving us the truth?” Asked Chairman Keon Hardemon. “Some say everything is going well. Some say there is something to worry about.”
It is undisputed that the county’s facilities sector was wary of being found in an Oracle elevator in the spring of 2020.As originally reported by Channel 10Inspectors at Miami-Dade have discovered that elevators and escalators have multiple electrical bypasses.
Bypasses, known as “jumpers,” allow mechanics to disable the safety feature that shuts down elevators and other mobile equipment. Jumpers, a diagnostic tool for narrowing down electrical problems during repairs, can leave elevators and escalators unsafe to use. If the laces get entangled in the equipment, you can disable the escalator kill switch needed to stop the moving stairs.
“I have never seen anything like this”
“Another Safety Device Disabled by Oracle Elevator Co.” Morris obtained several from the International Union of Elevator Constructors on May 21, last year, which is part of a union that wants to consolidate Oracle’s MIA workers. I wrote one of the emails. “I haven’t seen anything like this in the industry for 30 years.”
Oracle told county managers in August that it had fired three employees after reviewing 13 bypassed safety devices. Another employee, Luis Colon, remains paid and suspended after expressing concern about the jumper. “I was suspended when I reported it to my boss,” he said in an interview.
At a committee meeting on Tuesday, Oracle executives did not explain the jumper that caused the alert last year. But they turned their criticisms on the union organizers.
Michael West, Senior Regional Vice President of Oracle, said: “The campaign is not about safety.”
Inspector General investigating MIA elevator and escalator issues
Miami-Dade inspectors discovered two other jumpers on Oracle equipment in December. Miami-Dade’s chief elevator inspector, Nicholas Ortiz, told the commissioner that one jumper didn’t seem to make sense because there were no underlying wiring issues that needed to be bypassed. “What is your motive?” Ortiz said. “Obviously it wasn’t about getting the equipment up and running, or you wouldn’t think.”
Ortiz and colleagues said county inspectors began investigating the issue with a focus on jumpers in December. Oracle claims one of the related wires that the company is not using.
“I don’t know who installed the jumper. It was certainly not our company. I believe it is malicious,” West said in an interview. “I think a third party is involved in installing jumpers on elevators and escalators.”
However, in an email in May 2020, Morris explained that Oracle was instructing technicians how to bypass the computer unit of an elevator that “half of the safety circuit was disabled.”
Union leaders have dismissed Oracle’s criticism as groundless and distracted by inadequate safety records. “Everyone continues to grow the union,” Levenson said at a press conference outside the courthouse. “It’s about safety. After all, if someone gets injured or killed, it’s our industry that suffers.”
Miami-Dade’s aviation director, Lester Sora, said the county was ready to fire Oracle if the investigation revealed fraud.
“We’re going to review the company,” he said. “Our interest is very simple …. Our interest is to make sure the elevators are working … and the airport is safe.”