Did you suffer a serious injury in an elevator/escalator accident?
According to federal data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 17,000 people are seriously injured in elevator accidents every year, and another 30 are killed. Approximately 90 percent of the deaths and 60 percent of the injuries are caused by elevators. A considerable number of these injuries and deaths occur to people working in or around the elevators and escalators.
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The dangers of elevator and escalator accidents
According to the CPSC’s data, elevator accidents affected workers more often than passengers, while escalator accidents affected passengers more often than workers. According to the data, approximately 75 percent of escalator injuries were caused by falls, approximately 20 percent were caused by the victim’s clothing or body part becoming caught at the top or bottom of the escalator, and approximately five percent were caused by other factors, including sudden stops or changes in direction.
One of the most concerning statistics in the report was that about half of the injuries involving victims or their clothing becoming caught in the escalator, involved children under five years old, most often when their hands or a loose article of clothing like untied shoelaces became caught.
In elevator accidents, more than 55 percent of all deaths of workers working around or in elevator shafts were caused by falls down the shaft, more than 36 percent of the deaths were caused when workers were caught in or between objects and more than seven percent of deaths were caused by other factors, including being stuck by an object and collapsing elevators.
Preventing Elevator and Escalator Injuries
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a number of tips and safety practices to decrease the number of injuries and deaths caused by elevator and escalator accidents.
- Ensure that workplace training and protective practices adequately ensure the safety of workers, including:
- Providing those working in or near elevator shafts with fall protection gear;
- Putting in place a “permit-required” “confined-space” program for elevator shafts; and
- Locking out and de-energizing mechanical equipment and electrical circuits when elevators and escalators are being repaired or are out of service.
- Ensure that employers have an adequate maintenance and inspection program in place;
- Employers should only hire qualified workers to perform the necessary elevator and escalator maintenance and repair;
- Ensure that there are no hazards at the top or bottom of escalators that could trap hands, feet or clothing;
- Treat elevator shafts as confined spaces, and ensure that all necessary permits are secured and requirements for these types of spaces are followed.
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E&L, LLP, has cultivated attorneys who are prepared to represent plaintiffs in complex personal injury, product liability, and car accident cases. If you have questions about your rights and options following an automobile defect, our team is readily available to help.
If you have been injured, contact E&L, LLP, at (213) 306-5868, for a free case evaluation and consultation.
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