An Elevator Advocate wrote in and provided a bit more information on the accident that occurred in PA. Thanks for sending the comments over. Complete article can be read via the link below. http://articles.philly.com/2011-06-05/news/29623438_1_elevator-shaft-elevator-car-washington-square-west
Comments From G.D.
As for the 25 yr. old man falling down an elevator shaft. It is my understanding the building was retail on the lower levels and a private residence on the 5th fl. The car travel from a secure lobby to the 5th fl. apartment which apparently had a party go on. Per the state the elevator was list as residence elevator which required no annual inspections.
If you are a residential elevator owner please consider having your elevator inspected once a year and maintained on a regular basis. While the code does not address these devices it's a good idea to have an elevator contractor come in and make sure that there are no safety issues with your equipment. As you can see, Residential Elevators only need be inspected once, when they are installed and that's it. Can you imagine purchasing a new car and never having it looked at or maintained until it broke?
Also, perhaps this elevator should not have been classified as a residential elevator. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. If there are more Elevator Advocates out there that can share more info as this case progresses I'd be happy to share and summarize it. Or if you'd like to add comments below feel free.
This was a terrible accident that could and should have been preventable.