When people have an elevator or escalator accident in Nevada, they may be severely injured or killed. While there are fewer escalators than elevators in the U.S., escalators cause 15 times more injuries. By contrast, elevator accidents are responsible for 90 percent of the fatalities that occur. Some of the dangers of elevators and escalators are caused by their designs.

Elevator and Escalator Accidents

More than 33,000 escalators and 900,000 elevators are operating in the U.S. While the number of escalators is much less than the number of elevators, escalators account for 15 times more injuries than elevators. Escalator injuries may include entrapments and falls. Entrapments occur when clothing or body parts get wedged between the moving steps and the sidewalls of the escalators. Severe fall injuries may happen on escalators such as when a person begins falling on the escalator and continues over the rails.

Elevator accidents are responsible for 90 percent of the deaths that happen on escalators and elevators. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that escalators and elevators together are responsible for an average of 17,000 serious injuries and 30 deaths each year. Of those who are killed, almost half are workers who are working in or around the elevator shafts. Half of the worker deaths are caused by falls into the elevator shafts. The remaining worker deaths are caused by entrapments in moving parts or people becoming struck by counterweights or moving elevators, requiring the injured victim to retain an injury lawyer in Las Vegas.

Design Issues

Many of the accidents involving escalators are caused by design flaws. The manufacturers of escalators follow their own voluntary standards. There are not any safety regulations in place for the manufacturers to follow. The voluntary standards were developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, but they do not contain any standards that are specific to fall dangers. The codes also do not contain provisions that address guardrails. Many fall accidents happen people topple over the handrails at lower points as they proceed up or down the stairs.

Elevator and Escalator Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made several recommendations for safe work practices. They recommend that electrical circuits are de-energized and turned off when escalators or elevators are out of service and that fall protection is in place for workers.