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Why do workers and others get hurt on elevators and escalators?

A study originally published by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) originally in 2006, then later updated in April of 2018, captures just how often injuries or death results from escalator and elevator rides in the United States.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data shows that some 17,000 individuals annually are injured while riding on an elevator or escalator. An additional 30 are killed. Of those who are injured, 60 percent happened on elevators. In addition, all but 10 percent of the deaths happen on elevators.

Of those who are killed on elevators each year, nearly half of them are workers who are killed when they fall down the shaft while working within it. They're also killed when they're struck by counterweights, platforms and other moving parts. Those who get hurt often suffer injuries while repairing, installing or maintaining them as well.

The Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR) argues that employees and employers alike can take steps to minimize elevator and escalator worker deaths.

They recommend that they undergo regular maintenance and inspection and that only those who are properly trained should be allowed to work on them. When training their technicians, they note that it's important that they learn fall protection techniques for open shafts and that they can benefit from learning how to deactivate energy sources when these units are under repair.

Elevators located in high rises in California can carry passengers dozens of stories in some cases, making it impossible to survive if someone falls down a shaft. Although escalators in Sacramento generally don't carry riders up more than a few stories, someone who falls down one can suffer significant bodily harm.

Proving negligence when filing carrier claims isn't easy; however, a skilled attorney can advise you whether it's possible given the facts of your case.

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