There are many elevators in New York City. If they are not properly maintained, elevators can be deadly.
People often consider elevators to be a safe form of transport between the floors of a tall building. After all, lifts have been in operation for more than one hundred years, and modern elevators should be designed to be accident-free. Unfortunately, this is not quite true. In fact, elevators in New York, as well as across the country, continue to cause injuries and deaths every year.
Multi-story residences and office buildings are a unique part of the New York City skyline. Countless elevators, most of which operate safely every day, ferry people up and down the floors of these buildings. Safety hazards do occur in which people are injured in accidents - about six people in the United States every year are killed in elevator mishaps, and many more are hurt, according to VeryWell.com. At least one child is among those killed, and about 2,000 children are injured annually in elevator accidents. Freight and construction elevators also pose a danger to countless workers across the country.
According to the New York Daily News, a recent death was the second elevator fatality in seven months in New York City. Last July, a convenience store worker was loading boxes into the store's elevator and became pinned when the lift suddenly rose. Sadly, the man was crushed to death. Investigators said the building may not have had a permit for an elevator, and were continuing to look into what might have caused the tragedy.
Types of accidents commonly associated with elevators
Malfunctioning or improperly maintained elevators may result in the following hazards:
- A door closing on a body part and refusing to open
- An empty elevator shaft awaiting a door when it opens, instead of an elevator car
- The car moving again while it is stuck between floors and the door is open
- A falling or dropping elevator car
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, property owners must regularly maintain elevators and repair issues in a timely fashion. To reduce the risks of dangerous lift accidents, it is important to understand what to do if an elevator is not operating properly. Perhaps the most crucial rule is to always look before walking through an open elevator door, so as to avoid falling into the shaft if the car is not there. Elevator doors often have safety mechanisms that cause the doors to open if they bump into a person or object, but one should never assume that these devices are functional. Rather than attempting to open closing doors with a hand or foot, it is perhaps safer to wait for the next car to arrive. If the elevator doors open but the car is stuck between floors, passengers should never attempt to climb out. Instead, they should use a cellphone, the elevator phone or the emergency button to call for help. It is also important to accompany younger children on elevators and to teach older children the above safety tips.
Those who are injured in elevator accidents may be eligible for compensation. An experienced New York City personal injury attorney should be able to advise them on the steps to take.