Escalator accidents are often the result of misuse and are a serious cause of injuries. According to VeiligheidNL, around 500 people are treated in the emergency room each year because of escalator accidents. The majority of these accidents are caused by falling off an escalator step. However, accidents can also occur when a person is trapped between escalators, or if they bump into an escalator.
In 2014 alone, escalator accidents caused 37 fatalities in China. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) collects data on workplace injuries and deaths, including escalator accidents. However, this data doesn’t account for escalator deaths that were not caused by mechanical failure or faulty wiring. This is why regular safety inspections should be conducted on escalators.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that escalator and elevator accidents are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury. According to the CPSC, almost half of all elevator and escalator accidents were caused by falls. Another half of these accidents were caused by clothing and footwear that became entangled with an escalator. Fortunately, these accidents don’t always result in death, but the victims deserve compensation for the trauma that they have suffered.
According to the CPSC, 40,000 elderly adults sustained injuries on escalators between 1991 and 2005. The most common types of injuries are slips, trips, and falls. Young children are another group of people at risk of escalator accidents. Because of their young age, clothing is especially vulnerable to getting caught in the mechanism. According to Elevator and Escalator Accident Litigation and Reconstruction, 3rd Edition, about 1,000 of these accidents involve children under the age of four.
Escalator accidents often occur because of design flaws in the escalator. While the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has a voluntary safety standard for escalators, manufacturers do not require them to follow these standards. As a result, many escalator accidents are the result of faulty design and maintenance. The handrails on escalators may have excessive gaps or be missing teeth. Additionally, protruding screws can catch clothing.
In a recent escalator accident in Denver, 30 people were injured. Approximately 460 Westinghouse escalators have broken steps. This causes them to become lodged in the end plates and buckle. This forces the metal steps to break and fragment. Affected victims may be entitled to compensation.
Injuries caused by escalator accidents can be very serious. The injured party can seek compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering. In addition, they can also claim their lost wages or earnings. An attorney with expertise in elevator/escalator accidents can help them understand the legal process and determine who should be held liable.
There are many ways to prevent escalator accidents. First, ensure that you tie your shoes before boarding the escalator. Secondly, make sure you step off at the end of the ride. Lastly, avoid using escalator when carrying a baby or small children. While escalator accidents can be rare, they can be very dangerous. Therefore, safety measures must be taken by all users of escalators.
Most states have adopted ASME codes for escalators and elevators. However, many have not adopted the latest revisions of these codes. For example, the 2002 revision of ASME 17.1 requires the use of elevator personnel during startup, maintenance, and emergency evacuation. Moreover, it is highly recommended that elevators be inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe for use. Also, it is highly recommended that elevator service companies develop procedures to safeguard employees from hazardous energy.