Here’s an interesting thought experiment for the next time you’re riding in an elevator: Most people will refuse to go skydiving, even if offered the experience as a gift. They mostly cite a combination of safety concerns and fear of heights… But, the same people will take an elevator to the top of the Central Park Tower (1600 ft) without thinking twice.
The altitude change is about the same with a skydive as it would be going to the top of the Central Park Tower, but the elevator doesn’t elicit fear as a skydive does. It’s because one important difference separates the two: The journey to the top of the building and back down is done comfortably in an elevator. The skydive…not so pleasant and relaxed.
We trust elevators to get us to towering heights and back down without incident. We trust them so much that in the USA we make 18 billion passenger trips per year. In about 17,000 of those 18 billion trips, someone is injured or killed, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
That puts the likelihood of an injury on your next elevator trip 1 in 10,000,094. That’s pretty safe, especially compared to skydiving, which sees an accident every 1 in 1,800 trips. There is a data-proven record of elevator safety.
But, mistakes are made occasionally, and things can go wrong quickly. What causes elevator malfunctions that lead to injuries?
Here are some common causes of elevator malfunctions that can lead to injuries:
- A pulley shift malfunction or mechanical breakdown or defect causes elevators to drop rapidly within the shaft. The quick drop and stop can easily injure or kill passengers.
- An open shaft, faulty doors, unbalancing leveling or other failures may not protect passengers upon entry.
- Faulty wiring leading to elevator control malfunction or risk of electrocution.
- Unqualified personnel can also cause defects by conducting incomplete repairs, maintenance or inspections.
- Passengers may also become entrapped from the heat or water from emergency sprinklers or hoses.
The Best Way To Prevent Elevator Injuries
The best way to prevent elevator injuries is to fix problems before they show up. There are no second chances with elevator failures.
The key to prevention is for business owners to work with licensed professionals to maintain and upgrade elevators according to standards set by the state of Texas. These standards ensure that any detectable or foreseeable problems with an elevator can be addressed by building owners before it leads to any harm.
Inspectors are specially trained to spot mechanical failure before it happens. But, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the elevator owner to pay for repairs and make sure that it is operating safely.
Unfortunately, not everyone who owns an elevator works wants to spend the money required or work diligently enough to prevent accidents and mechanical failure. Sometimes, elevators fail and people are injured.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in an elevator accident, please reach out and contact us for a no-risk consultation. Help from legal experts and financial compensation for your suffering is closer than you think. Contact Malley Law Firm today.