Momentum e-Newsletter Featured Article
Elevator and Escalator Safety
Incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,100 people each year in the United States, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries 1992-1998 and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Injuries to people working on or near elevators – including those installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, and working in or near elevator shafts – account for almost half of the deaths. The two major causes of death are falls and being caught in/between moving parts of elevators/escalators. Incidents where workers are in or on elevators or platforms that collapse, are struck by elevators or counterweights, or are electrocuted are also numerous.
Elevators and escalators are potential sources of serious injuries and deaths to the general public and to workers installing, repairing, and maintaining them and fire and rescue personnel. Common injuries are tripping, caught clothing, being hit by closing elevator doors, or falling down an elevator shaft when trying to exit a stalled elevator car. Workers are at risk also, for instance, when cleaning elevator shafts, conducting emergency evacuations of stalled elevators, or doing construction near open shafts. State and local authorities recognize such hazards and require periodic inspections of elevators and escalators.
Elevator Industry Field Employee's Safety Handbook
In the field, workers need to carefully observe their environment and constantly be aware and in compliance to safety regulations. Safety of the elevator industry workforce is dependent upon a uniform set of safety practices. The Elevator Industry Field Employee's Safety Handbook goal is that field safety be maximized in the industry's safety specialists. http://safety.elevator-world.com/handbook.htm
While the Elevator Industry Field Employee's Safety Handbook is an excellent guide for the field employee, we also recommend each company have an adequate safety, inspection, and maintenance program. Your safety program should outline safety procedures for various types of field operations, including practices and procedures to eliminate hazards, prevent incidents, and avoid injuries and recommended methods to carry out and complete a job safely.
Because elevator and escalator components vary from company to company and because unique or unusual jobsite conditions may exist, it is recommended that your safety plan is updated continuously as a result of unique or unusual jobsite conditions.
We also stress training employees and only using qualified workers for elevator and escalator inspection, repair, and maintenance. VTX® employees are experienced and knowledgeable ASME QEI-1 (Qualified Elevator Inspector) certified inspectors, who are educated in local and national codes.
ASME A17.1 Safety Code Elevators and Escalator Handbook
Organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have set standards for the construction and maintenance of elevators and escalators and for their safe operation. VTX continues to provide insight to our clients in each addition of this newsletter. Please reference the Code Corner and visit our web site www.vtexcellence.com for previous Code Corners.
Since safety is a top priority at VTX, our President, Patrick J. Welch, is an active member in three National ASME A17.1 Safety Code committees. He also chairs all of the elevator, escalator, and moving walk design working groups for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This intimate working knowledge of elevator and escalator design issues provides our client with the latest information available related to elevator and escalator safety code. We design elevator and escalators with the end user in mind to provide appropriate equipment to provide the safest, most reliable elevator and escalator for decades after the project is complete.
VTX's key staff routinely participates on code committees and in the development of the ASME A17.1 Elevator Escalator Safety Code. We are also certified as a third party agent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the Department of Labor and Industry.
National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness
National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week is in November. At that time we will elaborate on our ongoing commitment to presenting elevator and escalator passenger safety to local elementary school students. This hands-on training in the safe use of elevator and escalator equipment has been beneficial and shown successful data on improving elevator and escalator safety among the youth.