Elevators and escalators are convenient additions to everyday life and are used often without any incident. When used properly, they are a safe way to travel between floors of any building, but if used incorrectly, or are poorly maintained, they can cause serious accidents.
The NHS sees around 10,000 cases of injuries caused by elevator accidents each and every year. Knowing the risks and what to look out for will help keep you and others safe when using lifts:
Top Lift Risks
The most lethal fall risk is falling into an elevator shaft when the elevator is not on that floor. But the most common fall injury occurs when people trip when entering or exiting an elevator and the car does not stop flush with the floor.
It is estimated that around 75% of elevator injuries are caused by trips and falls.
- Getting Caught
Another serious elevator injury, which is also a risk for escalators is being caught in or between moving parts. This could be between the elevator doors or between the bottom or top of an escalator.
Young children are at an increased risk of getting their hands, shoes, or clothing caught in elevators and escalators, but adult clothing can also get trapped as well. If an item of clothing does get caught, it can quickly get pulled in with incredible force and there are numerous reports each year of children losing fingers and toes because of these accidents.
A malfunctioning elevator can be the cause of serious injury and even death. Malfunctions can manifest in many different ways, including sudden changes of speed, erratic breaking or faulty brake systems.
The hidden risks in lifts probably won’t kill you, but they will make you sick. Elevators are some of the most germ ridden places; buttons and hand rails are usually covered in germs from heavy use. The best advice when using a lift is to allow someone else to push the button for you.
To help avoid accidents from happening, always ensure that your lift systems are kept clean and are maintained regularly. Keep up-to-date with current lift modernisation trends so that you have the technology to help prevent accidents from happening.