Actually those units use a fractional horsepower vacuum blower. In the event of a motor failure they slowly settle to the bottom floor.
The motive system is at the top allowing retrofit into existing buildings without excavating a pit under the shaft.
I looked at them about 8 years ago for a friend who is disabled.
Back in the 1970s I had a workshop on a first floor. There was an old compressed air lift big enough for a van. It used to leak a bit passed the ram seals so it took a while to pump up.
One day we had a visit by the H&S bloke. Just as he was leaving he spied the compressor and then the lift. He condemned it immediately and made me remove a section of the air line to the lift. Later I put quick release fitting on that line (2" water pipe) so that it was mostly disconnected to satisfy any follow up visits. I would connect it whenever we had a motorcycle to bring up or take back down, then remove it when done. I continued for another 5 years like that, until I moved workshops.
It was far safer than the only alternative way, which was to push and pull the bikes up and downs a flight of narrow stairs with a 180 bend in the middle.
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