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Common Reasons for Elevator Malfunction: Defective Governors

On another page, I mentioned the injuries that might result from a sudden drop of an elevator car. This can be a very serious issue in an elevator, and one that should be avoided at all costs. In an attempt to prevent this from happening, many elevators have overspeed governors installed in them. I will discuss the overspeed governor in more detail here, but it is basically a mechanism meant to stop an elevator if it starts moving too fast in one direction. If the governor is defective, this can greatly affect the maximum speed of the elevator.

What is the Overspeed Governor?

The overspeed governor is a device that stops an elevator in the event that it starts traveling beyond an acceptable speed. Traction elevators and roped hydraulic elevators require an overspeed governor to help control speed.

If an elevator reaches a speed that has been predetermined to be too fast, the overspeed governor should activate. A switch opens and the brake and the machine motor start to lose power. A braking mechanism is then employed to slow down or stop the elevator car. This braking mechanism is activated by motion transmission of the car moving. This switch will stay open until it is manually reset. This means that the elevator will remain at a stop until a manual reset takes place. These switches are usually located in the machine room, making it easy for a technician to go in and reset the elevator if it is safe to do so.

Defective Governors

The overspeed governor is the line of defense against erratic speed by an elevator. If the overspeed governor is not properly installed, if it is defective, or if it breaks, there won’t be anything to stop the elevator car from free falling or from rising at a rapid speed.

As mentioned on the page about sudden drops, this can cause serious harm to passengers in an elevator car, including broken bones, paralysis, head trauma, and even death.

Frequent maintenance to make sure that the overspeed governor is in proper working order is essential to elevator safety. The elevator owner should call a maintenance team to stay on top of any issues in an elevator, including defective overspeed governors. Maintenance teams are responsible for checking the status of governors and making sure that they are working properly.

Getting Help

If you were in an elevator car that experienced a breaking issue, a defective overspeed governor could be to blame. If you want to file a personal injury claim for any subsequent injuries, it will be helpful to identify the defective overspeed governor as the issue. You can do this with the help of an attorney.

An attorney who has worked with elevator injury cases in the past can help you identify a defective overspeed governor, as well as any other issue that caused the accident. They can then build a defense for your position and help you get the compensation that you deserve. If you would like to discuss your situation further with a lawyer, please contact our office. One of our lawyers are happy to consult with you about your case and answer any questions that you have.

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