There Are More Elevator and Escalator Accidents Than You Expect

Nationwide, an average of 30 people die in elevator and escalator accidents each year in the United States. Many more sustain disabling injuries, some of which are on the job.

Currently, approximately 36 states around the country require elevator and escalator mechanics to undergo special training and licensing. Fortunately, Florida is one of these states, but this does not guarantee safety. In January of this year, a certified Florida repairman was scheduled to inspect and repair the elevator in an older Miami apartment building. He was later found dead trapped on the third floor. Residents commented the elevator hadn’t been maintained by the owner in a while and described it as a “death trap.” ( http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Elevator-Repair-Man-Dies-in-North-Miami-Building-364406501.html )

These accidents can take place in a variety of ways. Elevator cables can break, causing the elevator to plunge to the ground. Elevator doors can close on people, and passengers can get stuck inside for long periods of time. Escalator injuries can arise when steps loosen and catch on clothes, toes, or other body parts, when the steps don’t level properly, or when there is too much space between steps and side walls.

Florida property owners have a duty to maintain their premises, including elevators and escalators, in reasonably safe condition in order to prevent injuries. If an elevator or escalator is not in a reasonably safe condition and an accident occurs, the property owner may be held accountable. If a victim’s injuries were caused because the elevator or escalator was defective, there may also be a claim against the manufacturer of the elevator or escalator. To figure out who is responsible, it will be important to carefully review inspection logs, maintenance records, operating permits, and other documents as soon as possible.

If you or a family member have been injured by an unsafe condition on another’s property, the attorneys at Syfrett, Dykes & Furr will be able to help you determine who may be responsible to help with medical bills and certain other expenses.

Check out these sites for more information:

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/hr/elevators/accidents/accidents.html

http://www.laborpress.org/sectors/building-trades/7268-six-months-after-deadly-elevator-failure-new-calls-for-real-training

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/key-safety-step-missed-in-fatal-elevator-accident/2117737

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