The number of fatal elevator accidents is actually quite low, but the statistics are still staggering. According to Consumer Watch, there are around 18 billion trips made on elevators per year. In fact, the chance of an elevator accident is one in 10 million. Compare that to the chance of being killed by a bear – a number that’s probably not that far off. And while the chance of an elevator accident is extremely low, there are still many people who are at risk for an accident.
The danger of an elevator accident is very real, but there are also ways to prevent it. Many elevator accidents are preventable, and many are caused by general failures and improper design. When doors are left open or closed during the moving process, the victim may fall down the shaft. Additionally, an attempt to get out of the elevator while it’s moving may result in decapitation. Because elevator accidents are so rare, people must learn how to deal with them if they happen.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 17100 people are seriously injured in elevator accidents each year. Unfortunately, escalators are far more common, causing 15 times the number of serious injuries. However, the statistics still don’t tell the whole story. In fact, escalator accidents are more common than elevator accidents, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that ten times as many people are injured on escalators than on elevators.
The CPSC (Congress of Safety Engineers) has a system for reporting the deaths and injuries of elevator passengers. In the last decade, the CPSC reported that there were 56 elevator accidents involving non-work-related injuries. That means there were six deaths a year in the 20 states that the FACE program covers. Of these six deaths, 13 were children. These numbers are hardly impressive – and they should not be taken as gospel.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that escalator and elevator injuries cause substantial numbers of injuries and deaths. In 1994, there were about 6,000 hospital emergency rooms treated for injuries caused by an escalator. These accidents can be avoided if elevators are maintained properly and the rails are thoroughly inspected regularly. And since these machines are so widespread, maintenance is vital. So, why do so many people suffer an elevator accident?
One case in particular stands out. In Shenzhen, China, a 24-year-old nurse was decapitated after an elevator car broke down. The elevator failed to stop ascension after the safety system failed to operate properly. Eleven people were able to jump in and help her. It is unknown whether there were any other victims. The case is very tragic, but there is still a need for increased safety measures in elevators.
In addition to seeking medical attention after an elevator accident, victims of such incidents should also contact the Department of Public Safety. A good elevator accident attorney will be able to document the accident, identify witnesses, preserve critical evidence, and notify insurance companies of the accident. And, of course, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the best option, as these attorneys have experience in the field. And, as a result, your case is likely to be successful.
In New York, elevator safety regulations are very strict and can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. If an elevator malfunctions, it is crucial to contact a NYC elevator accident lawyer immediately. Never rely on your employer, landlord, or insurance company to handle your case. You need someone you can trust to fight for you and get justice for your case. If a lawsuit is filed, the accident attorney should take the case on your behalf.
Occupational fatalities in elevators are not very rare, but if you are at risk, it’s important to be aware of any potential hazards. According to U.S. Labor Department Census data, about half of all elevator-related deaths occur among maintenance and repair workers. Of those deaths, 51 percent of them were caused by falls into the elevator shaft. Another 17 percent involved unqualified workers fixing or installing elevators. So, the risks involved are high, but not insurmountable.