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Elevators are safe, but caution is still required

It’s a question we probably take for granted, but are you exercising safe practices when using an elevator at your workplace? Or, do you know what to do—maybe more importantly what not to do—if stuck in an elevator.

Two recent workplace deaths from elevator accidents, a Cal State Long Beach employee who was crushed to death while trying to climb out of a stalled elevator [1], and a Manhattan office worker, who became caught in the doors as the elevator ascended [2], prompted lawyer Mark Bello, to offer some sound elevator passenger safety advice is his “Despite Recent Fatalities Are Elevators Safe?” [3] blog post.

Although elevators are relatively safe, following simple guidelines can help further improve passenger safety. It’s important not only know how to properly ride elevators, but also what to do if the elevator becomes stalled, Bello writes.

Then he offers some tips from Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation [4], two of which could have avoided the accidental deaths mentioned above:

“Deaths and Injuries Involving Elevators and Escalators,” [5] a report of the Center To Protect Workers’ Rights, A report produced by the Center for Construction Research and Training, cited Bureau of Labor Statistics showing “68 elevator-related deaths from 1992-2003 among people using elevators while at work, an average of six passenger deaths per year.” The majority of the deaths, 60%,  involved falling into the elevator shaft, and 20% of deaths were from involved being “caught in the elevator door or between the elevator and door or shaft,” according to the report.

Do you take elevator safety for granted in your workplace, or are you more likely now to think, even just a bit, about safety when during the literal ups and downs of your work day?  Let us know in the comment section below.