Elevator and Escalator Failures

Most people don’t stop to consider that elevators (aka lifts) and escalators (aka meat grinders) although very safe are simply pieces of complex machinery. They have thousands of different pieces and parts that can fail. Machinery requires good maintenance to operate properly for its full life cycle. So a lack of good maintenance or even a rare component failure or a unit reaching the end of its life can and will create an entrapment or otherwise unsafe condition. Thousands of these happen every day.
An easy way for non-elevator people to think about this is to liken vertical transportation equipment to your cars. Think about all the different car problems you have had or even wrecks you have been in or seen. Now do you feel comfortable using this equipment that you have never even been educated to use properly? Any equipment you use that could cause you serious injury or death should be used properly and with care. You don’t even get the standard airline briefing about your seatbelt, floating seat cushion and emergency air mask. You know where the emergency exit is, but did you know it’s locked from the outside and rarely used to rescue passengers anyway. Where do you find out about the most common types of failures? Where do find out how to use the equipment safely and properly?
There is really not that much information or education available to the general public. If you don’t want to act like an ostrich by burying your head in the sand and remain ignorant to the dangers, then search for what information is available and educate yourself. Of course I will recommend you read the articles at www.neededknowledge.com and my book “Surviving Your Elevator Entrapment”, but you should go further and look at other people’s information as well. Arm yourself with all the knowledge you can. One day you may need a piece of it to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
JF

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