Escalators are used frequently in various commercial properties, and public places. They are a quick means to get wherever you want to go to in any multi-storied building, but they can fail and cause accidents just like any machine.
Who Gets Injured by Escalators?
Older adults and children are the most at risk of getting escalator related injuries. In fact, there are about 10,000 injuries requiring emergency department treatments (ED) sustained in escalator accidents every year in the United States, according to a study published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Signs That An Escalator Might Be Dangerous
Injuries such as amputations and crush injuries are very likely to happen to frail individuals, the elderly and children. The following are signs that an escalator might be dangerous:
- The angle of the escalator is too steep
- Low rails on escalator
- The speed of escalator is too fast
- The escalator’s side is open
- There is a large gap between the escalator and the floor
- The escalator produces screeching, thumping sounds
- A missing foot brush
- There is a comb plate missing
- Steps are missing on the escalator
Hire an experienced lawyer if you are injured because of a faulty escalator.
Types Of Escalator Accidents
The most common types of escalator accidents include:
Falls And Slips
Sometimes people lose balance and fall while they are on an escalator. Elderly people are more likely to find themselves in this situation because they are the most prone to slipping. You can file a lawsuit against the property owner, design engineer, architect or other responsible party in such as situation.
Entrapped by Escalator Comb Plate
Your shoe laces or part of the clothes you are wearing can become wedged in the moving stair and the stationery comb plate at the very top or bottom of the escalator. There have been cases where people have lost limbs or they have been disfigured because of these types of accidents. It is mostly children that get injured in these types of accidents.
Caught Between A Step And The Escalator Skirt
Clothes, fingers, and a shoe can get caught between the side of a step and the skirt guard when a person stands too close to the side of a step. This can easily result in catastrophic injury and even death. Any excess space between the side of the steps and the skirt guard increases the risk of such accidents happening. It is often a good idea to stand in the middle of the step to avoid such injuries.
Escalator Handrail Accidents
These accidents also involve articles of clothing or body parts getting entrapped in the moving handrail.
Steps To Take Following An Escalator Injury
If you have been injured in an escalator accident do the following:
- Seek medical attention
- Inform the security or management of the facility that you have been injured
- List all the contact information of the people that witnessed your injury
- Only record a statement if your lawyer advises you to do so
- Take photos or videos of the defect on the escalator and the injuries
- Write the names of the employees that were present at the scene