What You Need To Know About Elevator Accidents

Published: 14th October 2008
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Riding an escalator or an elevator has become an everyday thing for most of us. We ride these at work, at the mall, in hospitals, in almost all buildings that we go into. Needing lawyers to deal with escalator and elevator accident cases is something that none of us want to experience in our lifetime.

The sad fact is escalator and elevator accidents claim about 30 lives and injure about 17,000 people yearly in the United States. This is according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Workers that maintain or clean the elevators account for almost half of the fatalities caused by elevators. Half of this number is due to falling into the elevator shaft. There are also numerous cases of people being caught between moving parts of the elevator, collapsing platforms, stuck between doors, hit by counterweights, etc.

Elevator accidents involving passengers (not workers), the most common causes are caused by being caught between the elevator and shaft, getting stuck between the elevator doors, and falling through the shaft. The most fatal of these is falling through the shaft. Sometimes people step into the elevator and there is no car there. Some elevators experience this mechanical failure of opening the doors when the elevator car has not reached the floor yet.

Since escalator and elevator accidents are common, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind to prevent them:

• Do not let a child board an elevator or escalator without adult supervision

• Check your shoelaces before boarding an escalator

• Do not use the escalator to transport carts, strollers, baby carriages, etc

• Always check for the emergency buttons on escalators and elevators

• Before stepping into an elevator, double-check to make sure that the car is there and that it's properly aligned with the floor

• Do not use the elevators during fires or earthquakes

If you are a building manager or owner, here are a few things you might want to consider to increase the safety of your building's elevators:

• Use sufficient lockout procedures - many fatalities occur from elevator accidents because the lockout procedures are not sufficient in some buildings. The moving parts of the elevator must be securely stopped to prevent people from being caught or struck by them.

• Ensure adequate fall protection - about 49% of fatalities near or on an elevator are due to the lack of adequate fall protection. Such protections may include (but are not limited to) scaffolding, guardrails, and other fall protection systems.

• Regularly maintain and check your elevators - preventive maintenance is better for everybody than waiting for accidents to happen. Accidents caused by malfunctions will be significantly lowered by regular maintenance and check-ups.

When consulting lawyers regarding elevator accidents, it is important to find out a few things to establish liability about the accident:

• Was the elevator being routinely checked by the management?

• Has it recently passed safety inspections?

• Did the management fail to discover a potentially hazardous mechanical defect with their elevators?

• Did the management fail to warn against potential hazards

• Did the manufacturer thoroughly test the elevator before it went to the market?

Escalators and elevator accidents are common but surprising. Maybe it is because we are usually lulled into a false sense of security when using them. After all, they are already fixtures in most buildings all over the world. If you were injured in an escalator or elevator accident, consult with lawyers that have adequate experience with the case. This is also to ensure a more timely and efficient legal representation.

To help you pursue claims for elevator accident injury and other related issues, you can consult with our expert Los Angeles elevator accident lawyers. Visit our website to avail of our free case analysis.

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