According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission report, elevators and escalators result in 30 fatalities and 17,000 injuries every year. There are several factors that may result in safety hazards associated with elevators and escalators:
- The elevator or escalator has a design flaw that can cause safety hazards for the people using them.
- The elevator or escalator does not have warning signs that inform of any defects.
- The machines might not be set up properly, resulting in malfunction.
- The machines might not be maintained regularly.
- People who maintain or repair the machines are not properly trained, resulting in human errors, leading to malfunction.
- Faulty wiring or components resulting in mechanical issues that affect the escalator or elevator’s performance, leading to safety hazards.
- An escalator door could slam close unexpectedly, leading to injured or trapped passengers.
- A handrail on the elevator might unexpectedly stop, creating an unsafe situation for the riders.
Why You Require an Elevator and Escalator Maintenance Plan
In the United States, elevators make over 18 billion trips every year. Most of these elevators are located in commercial, retail, or residential facilities, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year about 27 deaths happen due to malfunctioning elevators.
On the other hand, escalators make about 105 billion trips every year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, escalators result in two deaths every year.
Elevators and escalators are significant investments that add a lot of value to your commercial building. Depending on how well you maintain the elevator and escalator, you will be able to save thousands of dollars of costs for your business.
An elevator and escalator maintenance plan is designed to reduce risks for the commercial facilities’ owner, including user dissatisfaction, liability issues, and financial loss. Therefore, choosing the right maintenance plan can help keep your customers or tenants happy and ensure smooth building operations.
A good elevator and escalator maintenance plan will make sure that your machines will:
- Operate in compliance with building codes
- Pass state inspections
- Perform reliably
- Keep the passengers and riders safe
- Prevent expensive repairs and replacements
Types of Malfunctions Associated with Elevators and Escalators
Although elevators and escalators are relatively safe, it is crucial to perform routine maintenance and repairs on them in order to keep the number of injuries and fatalities as low as possible.
Some of the most common types of elevator injuries are due to the following:
- Open shafts or falls due to malfunctioning doors or other operational failures.
- A malfunctioning or worn-out pulley system or other mechanical defect, causing an elevator to fall.
- Unbalanced leveling, which results in improper alignment of the elevator with the floor.
- Incomplete maintenance or inspections by an untrained crew.
- Defective wiring, elevator control malfunction, and electrocution risk.
- Entrapment due to water from emergency sprinklers or heat from the fire.
Over 10,000 people experience injuries from elevators due to safety issuesand malfunctioning elevator doors.
On the other hand, some of the most common causes of escalator malfunctions include:
- Loose or missing screws
- Missing or broken elevator steps
- Broken or missing teeth on the escalator track
- Excessive amount of space between the steps and the sides of the escalator
- General escalator malfunction
Things to Consider During an Elevator or Escalator Maintenance
Here are a few things to consider during elevator or escalator maintenance.
It is important to ensure that your escalators and elevators meet safety standards, particularly when they are old. According to Consumerwatch, escalators that were constructed before 2002 do not meet the strict requirements for escalator skirt safety that were enacted that year.
As a commercial facility owner or manager, it is important to make sure that you meet all the stringent licensing requirements. As mentioned above, some of the most common types of elevator and escalator malfunctions are due to incomplete or inaccurate maintenance by an unqualified technician.
As a commercial facility manager, you need to ensure your equipment complies with the local and state law. It is important for you to find your local and state laws related to elevator and escalator maintenance and safety and follow them.
Keeping Track of Maintenance
Making detailed records of elevator or escalator repairs can help you find out potential points of issues, which you can check and address to ensure elevator reliability and safety. The sooner you address these issues, the less money it will cost.
A record of machine maintenance can help you become aware of problematic spots, including lack of electricity or excessive crowding, which might require urgent attention. In addition, this record will also be important in case you decide to switch your elevator/ escalator maintenance company.
Even if you have to do the simplest maintenance, like daily inspection, it is important to hire a professional service. Although they might seem small, things like an obvious damage on the inside, or malfunctioning lights or buttons, can result in a safety hazard and can even threaten the rider’s life.
If you fail to spot an issue, it can put your passenger in a dangerous scenario and cost your company a lot of money.
Aside from daily inspections, you should also schedule more in-depth maintenance at regular intervals or if you notice repeated machine failures.
A large majority of elevator maintenance is related to door issues. In order to ensure that your elevator is in good working order, you need to check the doors to make sure they open and close smoothly, there is no debris in the door lining, and the door is aligned properly with the floor and the car.
If you spot scratches outside the door, these may be caused by the panels dragging along it and are associated with misalignment. These types of issues need to be checked frequently since these can lead to elevator malfunction, resulting in rider inconvenience, injuries, and death.
Elevator and Escalator Maintenance for Commercial Facilities is Crucial for Safety
Elevators and escalators are particularly helpful to people with mobility issues. When equipment is not maintained or repaired properly, their components can fail – just like any other machine – which can lead to serious accidents that can have life-threatening consequences for a person and result in thousands of dollars of losses for a commercial facility.
At Facilities USA, we can help you get professional elevator and escalator maintenance services for commercial waste recycling services. Our team of licensed, bonded, and highly trained staff can perform routine and ad-hoc maintenance and repair of your elevators and escalators and make sure they continue to perform optimally.
Reach out to us today at Inquiry@FacilitiesUSA.com.