Common Reasons for Elevator Injuries: Inadequate Safety Rails
Safety rails are an injury precaution measure taken in both elevators and escalators. This is an easy way to prevent issues such as loss of balance and falling over while using these devices. Issues with safety rails or handrails in these devices can lead to injuries in elevators and escalators. You can learn more about these issues on this page.
The Purpose of Handrails
Most of us are familiar with elevators and escalators. Inside an elevator, against the three solid walls of the elevator, there should be handrails that people can grab onto. These handrails can be helpful in a lot of situations. First, they are helpful for children as well as the elderly. These people might not have a strong sense of balance, and can easily lose balance, even in a situation that seems like it wouldn’t cause harm. But the movement of an elevator can be disorienting and can be enough to make a child or elderly person lose their balance. Minor bumps could also cause problems. These issues can also occur when using an escalator, so handrails on both sides of the escalator are necessary.
Guardrails are also useful in the event of a more serious issue on an elevator or escalator. Sudden and jarring starts or stops as well as falls can happen in an elevator. Escalators can also suddenly start or stop. In these cases, it is useful to have something to hold onto to prevent a fall.
While having a handrail available might seem simple, it can prevent many different types of injuries. Most commonly, holding onto a handrail can help support your weight and prevent a fall. Falls can be serious and cause issues such as broken bones, concussions or other types of head trauma, scrapes, and bruises.
If you are on an escalator, falls can be particularly dangerous. This is because if you lose your balance, you are in danger of falling backwards down the staircase. If there are other people behind you, you can fall into them and cause them to lose their balance or cause other injuries. This can have a domino effect and injure multiple people. Another issue with falling on an escalator is having clothing or small body parts, such as fingers, caught in the moving stairs.
If you use an elevator or escalator with a broken or missing handrail, this issue could contribute to your injuries. If you want to make this argument in a personal injury case, you will likely have to prove that your injury resulted from not having a handrail to grab onto and prevent a fall or another type of injury.
Maintenance to elevators and escalators should be regularly conducted. Such maintenance should not just be for engineering issues, but also for parts of these devices that passengers use. The owner should have handrails checked regularly to make sure that they are in good working condition. If they do not, they can be held responsible for your injuries.
If you think that you have a personal injury case, you can contact my office for more information.