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2022 DOB Elevator CAT1, CAT3 and CAT5 Witness Testing in New York City.

In order to ensure that every building in New York City has safe and working vertical transportation for all passengers, the Department of Buildings (DOB) requires that all buildings with elevators comply with these city DOB codes.


Does this cover all five Boroughs?

Yes. According to the DOB all vertical transportation located within Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island or Queens must be inspected and tested twice per year. The DOB hires companies to perform these inspections. Most of the time these inspections are unannounced to the building manager or building owner.


VSA is a DOB-approved Elevator Consulting Company that can provide Witness Testing for buildings that are covered under these DOB codes for vertical transportation. Category Testing by the DOB ensures that all New York City elevators and escalators are a safe and reliable form of vertical transportation for all passengers. The NYC DOB, Department of Buildings Guide to Elevators describes each of the tests.


Category 1 (CAT1)

No load safety test performed between January 1st and December 31st of 2022.

Category 3 (CAT3)

Performed on water hydraulic elevators only every three years from date of installation

Category 5 (CAT5)

Witness testing is performed with rated load and speed every five years from the installation date according to New York law.



Building Owners and Managers have the responsibility to hire licensed elevator inspectors to perform these elevator and escalator tests that occur as often as yearly. Building Owners and Managers also have the added responsibility of hiring the services of competent 3rd party impartial elevator consultant to provide the witness testing. (This is known as witnessing the inspection) VSA Consulting is licensed to do this Category Witness Testing.


Category witness testing is very important. Based on statics, Elevator Consulting Companies that provide witness testing have detected about 50% more violations in NYC. Elevator Consulting Companies can also demonstrate to the Building Owners and Building Managers that their building is in compliance with all codes they are required to comply with. This documentation can then be passed on to the Buildings’ Insurance Company.

What happens during Witness Testing?

During elevator testing, the escalators and elevators are subjected to conditions that are extreme and are atypical of normal operation. These atypical extreme conditions help to ensure that any vertical transportation issue is identified. This witness testing also proactively helps to isolate small issues that could become a bigger issue over time. Most importantly this witness testing helps to ensure safety of all vertical transportation passengers.


VSA (Vertical Systems Analysis) is a NYC Licensed Third Party Witness Testing Elevator Consulting Firm. To find out more about our services click here. We perform Cat1, Cat3 and Cat5 test witnessing. Please contact our licensed and fully qualified technicians and engineers for a quote. VSA is licensed in NYC and can perform witness testing for your building. With our support staff, we can provide other services including third party inspections, filing fees and other processing.

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