Elevator Safety Tips for Passengers, Workers and Building Owners

Elevators are one of the safest modes of transportation today, yet accidents involving elevators kill over 25 people and injure another 10,000 every year. Although movies and television usually depict highly dangerous elevator failures, in reality it is quite different. Elevators are supported by several steel cables, each of which can alone support a fully loaded elevator cab. So a falling elevator with screaming passengers in films is more fiction than fact. However, it is true that elevator failures can be dangerous in some cases.

Here we’re going to discuss the measures that should be taken and the best practices that should be followed by workers, riders, and owners to ensure their safety when working or using an elevator.

Elevator Safety Tips for Workers and Building Owners

Construction workers are at the highest risk when it comes to elevator-related accidents. Almost half of the deaths in elevator-related accidents occur to individuals working on or near elevators. The most common elevator-related accidents are falls into elevator shaft, or workers get struck by the counterweights or elevator car, or they get caught between platforms or moving parts of the lift. To help prevent such injuries and deaths, workers should take the following steps:

  • Always make sure workplace protective training and practices are adequate
  • Establish a confined-space permit-required program for elevator shafts
  • De-energize the electrical circuits and lock out mechanical equipment when elevators are under repair or out of service
  • Provide sufficient fall protection when mechanics are working in or near elevator shafts.
  • Establish an effective inspection and maintenance program
  • Always hire qualified repair workers or companies for elevator repair and maintenance
  • Post elevator safety signs for freight elevators, elevator shafts, counterweights, inspection tags, emergency operation etc.

Elevator Safety Tips for Passengers

When waiting for the elevator to arrive:

  • Look and keep an ear out for the signal announcing your elevator’s arrival
  • Stand at a distance from the elevator’s door and stand aside to give way to exiting passengers
  • If the arriving elevator does not have space, wait for the next one.
  • Don’t try to manoeuvre in or stop the closing doors. Just wait for the next elevator to arrive.
  • Take the stairs in case of a fire or any situation that could result in disruption of electrical services.

When boarding the elevator:

  • Give way to the exiting passengers to leave before you enter the elevator.
  • Watch your step. The car can sometimes not be perfectly level with the floor.
  • Stand at a distance from the elevator’s door. Keep your carry-ons and clothes away from the opening.
  • Press and hold the “door open” button in case you want to hold the door open.  You can also ask somebody else to press the button for you.
  • Never attempt to stop a closing door. Wait for the next car.

When riding in an elevator:

  • If available, hold the handrail.
  • Try standing next to the elevator’s wall, if available.
  • Attentively listen to the floor announcements and indications when provided
  • If the door does not open automatically when the elevator stops, press the “door open” button.
  • Don’t panic if you find yourself stuck in the elevator. Push the elevator’s emergency contact button or alarm button to get help. Remember that elevators cars are “safe rooms”, and you’re completely safe inside the elevator car. Calm and reassure anyone who is panicking about being stuck in the elevator.

When exiting the elevator:

  • Don’t wait for others behind you and exit at your floor immediately.
  • Never push the passengers in front of you when exiting the elevator. Wait for them to leave first.
  • Watch your step. The car can sometimes not be perfectly level with the floor.