Escalator Mishaps and Injuries

Injuries sustained from an escalator fall can be traumatizing and very painful. You have bags in your hand, you’re not paying attention, just following the crowd and suddenly the escalator speeds up then stops suddenly. You lose your balance. Then one after another people start falling into each other.

Escalators are part of the human environment and have become so common that we take for granted that we could be hurt while using them.

Escalators are made of metal, have moving parts and are powered by electricity, so there is always an element of risk to consider when stepping on to one. Escalators are everywhere. Maybe you’ve even rode an escalator in an airport, or a shopping mall or maybe even in a museum.

The other day I was in the mall and the escalator was being repaired. The sign said please take the steps or the elevator. Wow, you would have thought the world had ended. Shoppers had to go 2 minutes out of their way. And to think if these people really knew what could happen on an escalator maybe fewer would actually step on one.

Maintenance is required to keep escalators from breaking down and protocols need to be in place to keep riders of such escalators secure. It’s a balance between operating economically and providing safety.

When an escalator isn’t maintained regularly, accidents are bound to happen. And the injuries sustained from these accident are not pleasant. Skin can be pulled right off hands and feet, bones twisted and mangled, lacerations, smashed teeth… and even death. Nope, not pleasant at all.

Escalators were invented in 1892 and haven’t changed much since. Sure some elements of safety have been added such as emergency stop buttons, deflector brushes and, believe or not, automatic sprinkers if a fire were to happen. Which ironically, did happen in 1987 in a London Underground station. The escalator exploded, billowing smoke into the ticket hall killing 31 people.

Sadly, according to David Chan the Director of the Center of Information Leadership at City University London there is “no incentive for escalator manufacturers to do anything different”. Mr Chan says, “what’s in place is safe enough… and due to the international standards, systemic changes are hard to implement”.

During a 14 year period from 1991-2005 over 40,000 older adults were injured due to escalator accidents. And from 1990-2002 over 18,000 injuries occurred from teenagers (ages 15-19) most likely from fooling around with their friends and not paying attention.

Was the injury the fault of the escalator, a poor maintenance record or rider misjudgment?

Why do I share this information about escalators? I share it to give you an insight that even common everyday things we take for granted can hurt us.

When a person comes to us due to an injury sustained from an escalator accident we get their story, ask them questions then we proceed to investigate. We go to the source of the accident and pull safety inspection records and maintenance reports to see what might have caused the escalator mishap.

If your injury happened in the State of Indiana give us to call, we’d be glad to review your case and see if it’s valid to proceed.

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If you were injured and need to file a claim for compensatory damages, fill out this contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.