Elevator and Escalator Accidents in the Workplace – St. Louis Attorney

For the most part elevators and escalators are safe, however accidents are not unheard of.

St. Louis elevator workers

Elevators and escalators are widely used in many commercial buildings. People use them to go from one floor to another floor in a building, to reach their offices, or construction sites.

For the most part elevators and escalators are safe, however accidents are not unheard of. The escalator is basically a set of steep metal steps. Sharp teeth project out from the edges of the steps. It is very easy to fall down while riding an escalator. The worker may fall if an escalator stops suddenly or if he loses his balance. This can result in a severe injury.

According to official reports, every year nearly 30 individuals lose their lives in escalator and elevator accidents. More than 17,000 people get hurt in such accidents. The majority of the people who suffer in such incidents are workers. Some of them get injured while repairing them.

How these accidents occur

  • A worker may get caught in the moving parts of escalators and elevators.
  • He may fall from the elevator shaft and fracture his bones.
  • The elevator or escalator equipment may fall unexpectedly on him and cause head trauma, tear his ligaments, or crush his appendages.
  • Escalators and elevators are powered by electricity. A worker may get an electric shock if the electric supply is not turned off properly when maintenance and repair work is being done.

Accidents can be caused if the doors or steps of the elevators or escalators are defective and do not slide properly. Sometimes, unexpected acceleration or deceleration of the lift may result in injury. Moreover, the doors of the elevator may not align properly with the floor. This misleveling can lead to an accident. Lastly, due to mechanical malfunctions, the workers may fall into the elevator shaftways.

How to minimize the risk

In order to reduce the chances of injury, the elevators should have a mechanism to prevent the doors from closing accidentally on a person. Even then, there could be a problem with this mechanism and the worker’s arm, hand, leg or clothing may get caught in the elevator’s doors.

There is a chance a worker’s hands, feet, shoelaces, or clothing could get caught in an  escalator’s mechanism too. To prevent this, new escalators possess a brush strip.

St. Louis Work Injury Attorneys

A worker who sustains injuries in an accident caused by an elevator or an escalator while he is performing his duties in the workplace should first report their injury and seek medical attention. They should make it a point to inform the employer about the injury and file an accident report. Get in touch with an experienced St. Louis work injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure your legal right to workers compensation is protected. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free and private case evaluation.

Updated: February 6, 2024