Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that their properties are safe for visitors. If they fail to take this responsibility and an injury or death has happened, they may be held liable. This is called premises liability.

Getting injured because of someone else is always bad news. Because property owners, manufacturers, and maintenance workers become negligent, you are the one who has to suffer. The best way to avoid accidents is by being diligent yourself and knowing what kind of accidents can occur in certain premises.

Premises liability may come in many forms, like dog bites, fires, slips and falls, and swimming accidents, but one form seems to be overlooked – elevator and escalator accidents. These accidents may seem ridiculous, because elevators and escalators are not the most complicated machines. But these accidents still occur, and we should be worried.

Defects and Malfunctions

Elevator defects and malfunctions happen for many reasons. Maybe the elevator is not installed properly, has missing parts, or is not receiving adequate maintenance. This can cause pulley system malfunctions, rapidly dropping the elevator in the shaft. Elevator passengers are also at risk of harm because of faulty safety systems like door malfunctions, water springkler malfunctions, and wiring malfunctions that may cause electrocution and fire.

Like elevators, escalators can be defective and malfunction if they are are not properly installed and maintained. There are well-documented cases where an escalator passenger has fallen into the moving interior parts of the escalator because of step yoke breakage and other support mechanism failures. Sudden stops and starts of an escalator can also startle passengers, causing them to slip and fall.

Entrapments

Aside from defects and malfunctions, entrapments are also common causes of elevator and escalator injuries. Body parts and pieces of clothing are known to get caught in the moving parts of elevators and escalators.

In elevators, the hand and feet of children are often victims of entrapments, may it be because of elevator defects and malfunctions or negligence. There are also known cases of women hair getting caught in the doors.

In escalators, a person’s clothing and feet are often the victims of entrapments. Long clothes like dresses are ingested by the moving steps and adjacent skirt panels. Fingers and toes of children can also be caught in the gaps between the steps and the panels, causing serious injury and even amputation.

Though negligence on the part of the victim can be associated with entrapments, the overall design of the machines should also be taken into consideration.


read more