BATTLE CREEK, Michigan. Every year, as many as 10,000 people have to visit the emergency room due to escalator injuries, according to CBS. Tragically, many of the people injured on escalators are children. These injuries can be particularly severe—resulting in lost fingers, feet, and amputations. The reality is that inspectors see potentially dangerous or deadly conditions on escalators on a regular basis. As it stands, there are currently no federal laws governing how escalators must be inspected for safety. While many modern escalators have shut-off valves and brushes to keep clothing from getting stuck, accidents still occur every year.
So, what are some common escalator dangers inspectors note regularly? For one, missing gratings where passengers step off or on the escalator can suck in shoelaces or a child’s small fingers. Screws can catch on clothing, leading to falls. The gap between the stairs and the side should also be monitored. If the gap is wider than a pencil, a shoelace can get sucked in, leading to possible foot injury, or worse.
When riding an escalator, you should always use a handrail and watch children. Keep clothing away from gaps and edges. Finally, if you are injured on an escalator, it may be wise to speak to a personal injury lawyer. Christopher Trainor & Associates in Battle Creek Michigan are personal injury lawyers who work with survivors and their families to help them get the recovery they may deserve.
The danger of escalators has a long history—as long as escalators themselves. According to Popular Science, in 1897, 31 people died when the escalator they were riding exploded. The cause? Pounds of fluff from clothing and paper had gathered in the gears. All it took was one spark to ignite it all.
Interestingly, even stairs have their risks. 12,000 people in the U.S. die every year falling down staircases. These numbers don’t even begin to account for the injuries individuals sustain when they fall. The reality is that property owners have a responsibility to keep stairs and escalators safe. They can inspect escalators to make sure that there are no loose screws that can catch clothing. They can also make sure that escalators are properly repaired and that there are no dangerous gaps that could suck in clothing. Finally, stairwells should also be properly maintained. Loose floorboards, broken rails, or uneven surfaces can lead to serious falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every five falls results in a serious injury.
If you’ve suffered an injury on an escalator or due to falling down stairs, it is important to understand your rights. If a property owner failed to maintain his or her premises, you may be entitled to receive money to cover your medical expenses, rehabilitative fees, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may only have a limited amount of time to seek a recovery under the law. Visit https://michiganlegalcenter.com/ to learn more.