While elevators are supposed to be safe, many people are still killed or injured every year in accidents. The most common cause of these accidents is a failure to check elevators regularly. Although employers are required by law to provide adequate safety measures to employees, many fail to do so. Inadequate maintenance and inspection can lead to malfunctioning elevators that may cause fatalities or injuries. Luckily, many accidents are preventable.
According to the New York Fire Department, elevator accidents are on the rise. A 160 percent increase in rescues since 2011 is a reason to improve elevator safety. Among the most important safety measures for passengers: always check the level of the elevator before entering and exiting. If the elevator car is nine inches above or below floor level, do not enter or exit. Likewise, avoid leaning on the closed elevator door. And never try to fix or repair a damaged elevator.
Elevator doors can malfunction, or the sensors may fail to respond in time. If the doors do not close quickly enough, they can throw people inside into the elevator. In addition, counterweights may not work properly. If these are not fixed, people can be thrown into the shaft or even into walls. Other possible causes of elevator accidents include counterweight malfunctions or an inability to detect the speed of an elevator. Ultimately, an elevator accident can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
According to the U.S. Census, over half of elevator-related deaths occur during installation or repair. Another 17 percent of fatal elevator-related injuries occur when workers are working next to the elevator or on the shaft. And one fifth of fatal elevator-related incidents involve fall-ins or other mechanical failure. The wiring for elevator controls may fray or the doors themselves can open unexpectedly. The problem is compounded by the fact that fewer elevators are in use.
Many people have never thought about elevator safety, but many of us ride them every day. Fortunately, most elevators are safe in New York City, but there are also a number of common causes of accidents. Improving elevator maintenance and other safety measures can prevent these accidents and save lives. However, there is no substitute for proper training. The National Safety Council estimates that over half of all elevator users experience elevator accidents each year. However, the number of accidents is staggering, especially for workers in apartment complexes.
Most elevator accidents occur because of misleveling. This problem affects elevators that were built in the 1930s to the 1960s. The lawyers of elevator accident victims must show that the elevator had a similar problem before. Additionally, they must prove that the elevator had a defective door or brake. Another common cause of elevator accidents is malfunctioning doors. These can crush people and cause serious injuries. If the elevator is old, the chances of misleveling are even greater.