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Elevator or Escalator Accidents

Many jobs require employees to use escalators and elevators on a regular basis. While we have safely ridden on elevators and escalators more times than we can remember, if an accident does occur, it is often extremely serious and can result in death or permanent disability.

Common Types of Workplace Elevator Accidents:

One of the most common types of elevator accident involves the doors closing on an employee’s hand, arm, leg, or article of clothing. While elevators are required to have a mechanism to prevent the doors from closing on a person, by reopening immediately, these systems do not always work. This includes the mechanical door safety edge seen on many older elevators and the optical beams used on newer elevators.

When a door safety edge fails, the force of the doors closing can result in serious personal injury that may result in an employee needing medical attention, occupational therapy, and missing work for an extended period of time. If a person’s arm or clothing is caught in an elevator and that elevator starts moving, injury can be extremely serious, ranging from a sprain or broken bones to amputation or even death.

Another common elevator injury suffered by employees is when an elevator does not line up properly with the floor before the doors open. This will typically mean that there is a significant drop or step up required when entering or exiting the elevator. Since most people do not look at the elevator floor and simply walk forward expecting proper alignment, many are caught off guard by the height differential and suffer fractures or sprains caused by the fall. While not as common, there have been serious personal injuries and deaths caused by elevators where both primary and emergency brakes failed, causing the elevator to fall down the shaft either partially or completely.

Elevators, Escalators and Workplace Injury

As the experienced elevator injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC know, workplace accidents involving an elevator or escalator are among the most serious. One of the more common escalator accidents involves falling while riding. The escalator is essentially a steep set of metal steps with sharp teeth protruding from the edge of each step. If an escalator comes to a sudden stop, or a rider loses his or her balance, a fall down an escalator can result in serious and debilitating injury to an employee.

Another type of escalator injury involves having hands, feet, clothing, or shoelaces caught in the mechanism. While new escalators have a brush strip to prevent this from happening, and many older models have been retrofitted, getting caught in the mechanism can result in serious injury or death.

If you have been injured in an elevator or escalator at work, you should seek prompt medical attention and make sure that your employer completes an incident report. Doing both of these things will help your workers’ compensation attorney fight for your right to a full and appropriate workers’ compensation settlement.

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