Our awareness of the risks that surround us is ultimately our responsibility. As you might have heard, ignorance is no excuse, but this statement alone doesn’t solve the problem. We are all ignorant about so many things that only experts or at least those involved in certain fields might know. So what should we do to increase our knowledge and improve our safety?
Staying informed and continuing to learn is a great step, but the easiest and first step should be situational awareness. Simply pay attention to things continuously. Don’t let yourself be so preoccupied with what you’re about to do or where you’re about to go that you don’t realize where you are and what you’re doing. It’s as simple as looking around as you walk to your car or cross the road or looking through a storefront window before just walking in. Be observant and keep your safety in mind at all times.
When it comes using elevators, there are a few quick and simple things you should be aware of. Make sure the elevator has fully stopped and is level as you step in or out of it. Check the expiration date on the inspection certificate and don’t use elevators with long expired certificates. Stay out of the way of the doors. They don’t always stop or operate as you might expect. My last suggestion is check for an emergency phone. I recommend not using elevators that do not have ADA or automatic phones. These type phones are identified by their push to operate buttons and a light. If you only see an old-fashioned hook set or worse an empty hole, don’t use that elevator.
For a more thorough explanation of why an ADA phone is so important to your safety and additional elevator and escalator safety information, please join us at NeededKnowledge and read Surviving Your Elevator Entrapment.