Gov. Snyder Proclaims Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week November 10-16

Contact: Melanie Brown 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

November 8, 2013 - Governor Rick Snyder has declared November 10--16 as Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week to educate the public to ride safely when using elevators, escalators, and moving walks.  The state of Michigan has nearly 27,000 elevators and escalators. 

“Today, elevators and escalators are a routine part of our daily life and using them is often taken for granted,” said Irvin J. Poke, director of the Bureau of Construction Codes in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).  “Many incidents and accidents could be avoided if consumers followed common sense safety tips.”

Elevators, escalators, and moving walks are among the safest modes of mass transit but it’s important that they be used properly and safely.  Too often people can become preoccupied in an airport or shopping mall – dodging out of the way of other people, juggling shopping bags or luggage.  Kids jump and play around escalators and people often do not use the handrail.   Children and the elderly are considered the most at-risk of being injured.  Falls and other accidents may be prevented by using the following safety tips:

Elevators

  • Enter and exit carefully. Step up or down if the elevator floor and hall floor are not level with one another.
  • Stand clear of the doors and do not try to stop the doors from closing with your hand, a cane, or other object.
  • Keep clothing and carry-ons away from the opening.
  • If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, ring the alarm button and wait.  Never force the doors open or try to exit.
  • In the event of a fire, never use the elevator, use the stairs.

Escalators and Moving Walks

  • Know the direction of the moving steps; step on and off promptly and with care.  Take extra care if you wear bifocals.
  • Escalators are for people only; no strollers, luggage, walkers, or carts of any type. 
  • Use the handrail as you step promptly onto the moving step; keep a firm grip on the handrails and always stand facing forward.
  • Hold children and small packages firmly with one hand; don't rest parcels on the handrail.  Don’t allow children to sit on the steps.
  • Be careful of loose clothing, flip flops, untied shoelaces, high heels, jewelry, long hair, and any other item that might get caught in an escalator.
  • Move quickly away from exit areas.  Don't stop—other passengers are behind you.
  • Do not crowd the escalator.  Leave enough room for emergency situations.
  • A stopped escalator should never be used as a set of stairs. Escalator steps are not the same height as stairs so there is an increased risk of tripping.
  • On moving walks, stationary passengers should stay to the right and let walking passengers pass on the left.

Michigan law requires that elevators and escalators be inspected on a regular basis and that installation and maintenance be done in accordance with state codes and national standards.  LARA's Bureau of Construction Codes, Elevator Safety Division, and Elevator Safety Board are responsible for a variety of elevating devices including elevators, escalators, moving walks, stairway chairlifts, and dumbwaiters; and handle inspections, complaint investigations, reporting of elevator accidents, and issuing elevator contractor licenses.

Elevator Escalator Safety Week has been recognized nationally since 1994.  The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation estimates there are 900,000 elevators and 35,000 escalators nationwide.

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara
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