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Certification specialist with functional safety as area of expertise

Elena Mauro took up her role as certification product specialist at Liftinstituut on 12 April. After working for many years as a safety consultant in the process industry, she now hopes to use her functional safety expertise in certification projects of lifts, safety components and machines. "It's a whole different ball-game but the principles of functional safety are the same."

Elena has an impressive CV. She studied Process Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology, where she also completed her post-Masters in System Engineering to combine process and system engineering. She then worked for a supplier of safety systems for thirteen years. First as a programmer, later as a system engineer and finally as a certified safety consultant. Besides her advisory tasks, she has also worked as a trainer.

Conscious choice for Liftinstituut

Last year, a headhunter put Elena in contact with Liftinstituut. That immediately sparked her interest. “During the first interview, it soon became apparent that we could make each other stronger. Liftinstituut can teach me about lifts in the sense of machine safety and I can help Liftinstituut in the area of functional safety. In the process industry, I had already been involved with some of the functional safety issues that are now very relevant in the lift world. I’d really like to build a bridge between these two worlds.”

Elena was also very attracted to Liftinstituut’s corporate culture: “It really felt like coming home. The fact that some people have been working here for more than twenty years says a lot about the organisation and the intensity of how people  work together.”

Worst-case scenarios

Although Elena is still involved in the induction process, she is already working thoroughly for clients: “I’m studying designs to see if they meet functional safety standards. Has the manufacturer taken all the necessary measures to prevent users from being injured? Was there a safety function  defined for each risk? Is the reaction speed of the built-in protective devices good enough to prevent the risk? And are the components reliable?”

Asked about her strengths, Elena replies: “I’m always critical. You really have to convince me that something is okay. No matter how smart the technician or designer, you should never just assume that what a person has designed adequately limits all risks. You always have to think in terms of ‘What if?' and worst-case scenarios. This focus is also important for Liftinstituut as a world-renowned certification organisation. When we approve a design, every aspect of that design must be right. After all, we have our excellent reputation to uphold.”

Motivated by safety

Elena is looking forward to meeting Liftinstituut’s customers and to the many challenging issues that await her. “Since I decided to become involved in the field of functional safety, I’ve dedicated myself to the profession. And I really enjoy it! Of course you sometimes have to grapple with time-consuming projects and annoying deadlines, but that doesn't bother me when I remember why I do this work."

“People step into lifts every day without even thinking about the possible safety risks. And I’d like to keep it that way. I’m happy to do my part to keep all those lift users safe.”