Escalators and moving walkways are becoming more and more common in public locations through the state of Georgia. Most Georgians use them at malls, airports, department stores, and other facilities to make their commutes to higher or lower levels easier. Unfortunately, most people fail to comprehend the dangers associated with escalators and moving walkways. Each year, there are 15 times more accidents per escalator than elevator in the United States. This is surprising because there are 20 times more elevators than escalators located in this country. So although there are many less escalators in use publicly, the dangers associated with them are much greater than with elevators. Many believe that the dangers surrounding escalator usage should be obvious to the general public, but this is not always the case.
The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) has been in use to educate the public on proper escalator riding methods for over ten years. However, many citizens of all ages still remain uninformed of the possible dangers associated with escalator use. Escalator steps more at 90 to 125 feet per minute. That is equivalent to 18 inches per second. This occurs while the sides of the escalator remain stationary. When you really consider the facts associated with these large metal machines, it is intimidating. In an effort to educate readers on escalator safety, we have included tips for those that ride escalators:
- Be aware of the direction of the moving step and enter/exit with extreme caution.
- Maintain a firm hold on children with one hand.
- Always use one hand to hold the handrail, both while stepping onto the escalator, while riding, and when exiting.
- Make sure loose clothing is kept away from steps and sides of escalators.
- Do not ride escalators with walkers, canes, or wheelchairs.
- Do not use escalators when barefoot or if your shoelaces are loose. Close-toed and hard-soled shoes are recommended.
- Stand in the middle of the step and face forward the entire ride. Your feet should stay away from the sides of the escalator at all times.
- Do not rest packages, parcels, or bags on the handrail.
- Do not lean against the sides.
- Do not run or sit on escalator steps.
- When exiting, step off promptly and do not hesitate. Move clear of the exit area as quickly as possible so that passengers behind you are not in danger.
Engineering companies have developed safer escalators and moving sidewalks in recent years, but there is always risk associated with these types of machines. If you are not confident riding escalators, we suggest taking regular stairs or an elevator instead. There are risks associated with these methods as well, but perhaps not as large as escalator risks.
If you or someone you know were injured as a result of a defective escalator, contact our firm today at (770) 427-5498 for information on what to do next. This is not a common personal injury claim, but we can steer you in the right direction according to your specific needs.