Elevators and escalators cause approximately 17,000 serious injuries and 30 fatalities each year in the U.S., according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. Employees who work on or near elevators, including those who install, repair, and maintain them, account for nearly half of those annual deaths. Elevator and escalator work accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, including defects, malfunctions, or improper lockout/tagout procedures. In Pennsylvania, workers who are injured in an elevator or escalator accident may be eligible for compensation. If you were injured in a work accident, you need an attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Types of Activities that Lead to Injury
There are several types of activities that put workers at an increased risk of injury while working on elevators and escalators, including installing and repairing elevators, working in elevator shafts or cars, and working near elevators. According to the BLS, 54 percent of those killed while working on or near elevators were performing installation or repair work. Often, inadequate lockout/tagout procedures are to blame for workers’ injuries.
Common Causes of Elevator and Escalator Accidents
- Equipment defects: Elevator parts or systems may malfunction, causing workers to suffer serious injuries. Such defects may include faulty doors or wiring, mechanical breakdowns, pully system malfunctions, and unbalanced leveling.
- Improper installation/inspection/maintenance: Employers should only hire qualified workers to inspect and maintain elevators and escalators. Allowing unqualified workers to work on equipment or not having a standard operating procedure for performing hazardous tasks can lead to injury.
- Inadequate fall protection: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide appropriate fall protection for workers who are exposed to fall hazards. Those working on elevators with the potential to fall down the shaft should have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard themselves from injury or death.
Types of Elevator and Escalator Injuries
The injuries workers suffer in elevator and escalator accidents vary in type and severity. The type of injury suffered largely depends on how the accident occurred, such as whether the worker became trapped, was struck by an object, or was exposed to faulty electrical wiring. Some of the most common types of injuries our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers have seen include:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Electric shock or electrocution
- Lost limb
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Compensation for Work-Related Elevator and Escalator Injuries
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, those who suffer work-related elevator and escalator injuries may be entitled to compensation. Available compensation includes payment for medical expenses, wage loss benefits, and death benefits for families of workers who lost their lives in a work accident. The law on this varies by state, therefore it is imperative to contact a local attorney who can explain your legal rights and options.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Workers Injured in Elevator and Escalator Accidents
If you were injured in an elevator or escalator accident at work and you need an attorney, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can ensure that your rights are protected and help you obtain the maximum amount of benefits in your case. For a free consultation, complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
Located in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Lansdowne, and Reading, we represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.