The following is a guest blog article by Dolan Law Offices:
Many of us give little thought to the escalator we use at the mall, the airport or the convention center. Yet, there are approximately 11,000 injuries and at least 7,300 emergency room visits a year because of escalator related injuries according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About 90% of these injuries occur because of falls and defects in the escalators and many of the injuries are serious.
The CPSC Does Not Regulate Escalators
The federal government, through the CPSC, does not regulate escalator safety. That is left to the city and state governments, and enforcement efforts differ from location to location. The lack of proper enforcement leads to inconsistent conformity with the escalator safety guidelines developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).For example, common defects that may be present on an escalator include:
- Handrail problems that lead to finger entrapment;
- Lack of safety precautions that allow for shoes, hair and clothing to become entrapped in the sides or stairs of the escalator;
- Broken steps;
- Lack of emergency shut off buttons to stop the escalator during an emergency; and
- Lack of warning lines on the steps that make it difficult to determine when to step on and off the escalator safely.
Children are at Particular Risk
Children are at an increased risk for escalator accidents. It is important to make sure that your children are wearing safe shoes and are encouraged to stand in the middle of the escalator holding the hand of a responsible adult in order to minimize the danger to young children.
If you or your child have been hurt in an escalator accident, then it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. An accident lawyer will protect your rights and fight for your fair and equitable recovery.
Martin A. Dolan is an Illinois escalator injury lawyer at the Chicago law firm of Dolan Law Offices. Dolan Law Offices is committed to helping victims of serious escalator accidents recover the damages that they deserve.