Elevator and Escalator Accidents Can Lead to Injuries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 17,000 people are seriously injured in elevator and escalator accidents each year. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report reveals that elevators cause about 60 percent of those serious injuries.
Workers at the highest risk for sustaining injuries include those who work on or near elevators, such as:
- Construction workers
- Electrical linemen
- Elevator installation, maintenance, and repair technicians
- Iron workers
Common Elevator Accident Injuries
Some of the most common types of elevator injuries include:
- Being struck-by elevators or counterweights
- Falling into elevator shafts
- Falling from collapsing platforms
- Getting body parts caught-in/between moving parts of elevator
Common Causes of Elevator Accidents
An elevator accident may occur while an elevator is being installed, constructed, operated, or repaired, and can be caused by various factors.
Some of the most common causes of elevator accidents include:
- Mechanical malfunction: Elevators may fail if there is a defect in the pulley system or some other mechanical malfunction, such as the failure of elevator doors to detect body parts before closing on them. Also, wiring issues may cause workers to suffer electric shock injuries, electrical burns, or electrocution.
- No lockout/tagout: If the proper lockout/tagout procedures are not followed and someone uses the elevator, workers may become caught-in/between elevator doors or other moving parts. Those working inside the confined space of an elevator may also die from asphyxiation or suffer other serious injuries.
- Improper leveling or sudden acceleration/deceleration: Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Improper leveling or sudden acceleration/deceleration can cause workers to fall inside the elevator or into the elevator shaft.
Those who are injured in work-related elevator accidents in Pennsylvania may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), injured workers must notify their employers of their injuries within 120 days to remain eligible for benefits.
Potential benefits under the Act include compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the injury, as well as payments for treatments, reimbursement for mileage to and from the doctor, and physical rehabilitation. Those who become disabled, either totally or partially, due to their workplace injury, may also be eligible for wage loss benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and specific loss benefits.
An injured worker may be able to obtain additional forms of compensation, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, in a third-party claim. A worker may only file a third-party personal injury claim against someone other than their employer and must be able to show that the third-party caused their injury. Potential third parties include the elevator manufacturer, installer, or repair/service people.
In Pennsylvania, a third-party claim may be filed simultaneously with a workers’ compensation claim. However, it is important to note the different statute of limitations for each; a workers’ compensation claim must be filed within three years, whereas a third-party claim must be filed within two years from the date of injury to remain viable.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Those Hurt in Elevator Accidents Obtain Benefits for Their Injuries
If you were injured in a work-related elevator accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our lawyers have over 40 years of experience and can help you get the maximum compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries. For a free consultation, call 888-PITT-LAW today or complete our online contact form.
We proudly 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.