EN81-20 and EN81-50

New lift standards EN81-20 and EN81-50

On 1 September 2017, implementation of the two newly published EN81-20 and EN81-50 standards for lift design and manufacturing will bring considerable benefits in terms of accessibility and safety for both passengers and service engineers on all lift handovers.  All lift handovers with a Declaration of Conformity signed and dated on/after the 1 September 2017 must be compliant to the new regulations.

The first, EN81-20:2014, sets out revised and updated safety requirements for the construction and installation of lifts. The second, EN81-50:2014, defines the test and examination requirements for certain lift components.

Safety requirements for passengers

Door detection systems


To reduce the risk of doors striking passengers while they are entering or exiting the car, the updated standards require lifts to incorporate a curtain of light mechanism – a non-contact detection system that is designed to prevent the doors from closing if an obstruction is detected. Photocell-based mechanisms will not be compliant with the new standards.


To find out more, click on the PDF to the right.

Safety requirements for service engineers

Car roof and pit refuge spaces

The volume requirements for the safety refuge spaces on the car roof and in the pit have been increased. The new volumes are as follows:

  • Upright position: 0.4 x 0.5 m (horizontal dimensions), 2 m (height)
  • Crouching position: 0.5 x 0.7 m (horizontal dimensions), 1 m (height)
  • Laying position: 0.7 x 1.0 m (horizontal)

To find out more, click on the PDF to the right.

Changes affecting building design

Requirements that the building designer is required to fulfill


The EN 81-20:2014 standard introduces some changes to the requirements that the building designer is required to fulfill. These changes all apply to the lift shaft, and include the following:

A fire extinguisher can be located in the shaft. Activation of the sprinkler shall only be possible, when the lift is stationary at a landing and the main switches of the lift and lighting circuits are automatically switched off by the fire or smoke detection system.


To find out more, click on the PDF to the right.

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EN81-20 & EN81-50 factsheet

Find out more about the implications of the new EN81-20 and EN81-50 standards.

Download the factsheet»

New lift standards now included in KONE's CPD