Suzanne Hart

Post: December 20th, 2011: ERS-2011-12-20 #280 Show Notes

Click Here to download ERS-2011-12-20 #280 It’s hard to believe that two terrible elevator accidents happened on the opposite ends of the country, yet the reason for why each occurred will most likely be connected to the same underlying issues.  Never before have I been scared of riding in an elevator, however the accident in New York makes me think twice about doing so.  It seems that whenever accidents like these happen many of us turn our heads and don’t want to say anything while others take a step forward, identifying the issues and making improvements to ensure accidents like this don’t happen in the future. Make the choice to step forward, make a difference, discuss with your coworkers and make improvements that protect everyone who ride and work with elevators and escalators.

News/Article Links:

Concerned Elevator Consultant Speaks Out 2007 Elevator Kills Woman in New York Complete Video Coverage of Accident in NY Gothamist Covers Carrajat Elevator Horror Stories in one nice little article NY Times Covers Accident More Light Shed on other accidents Insight into accident Unsafe elevation Failure to maintain elevators NY Elevator repairman charged with maiming woman Are elevators really hazardous to your health Long Beach Elevator Accident Details, investigation continues Man Suspected of lighting woman on fire in elevator New product for hydraulic elevators No one ever bought anything on an elevator? Elevator Mechanic rises up to call of duty NEII® Responds to Elevator Safety Elevating to new Heights. TV Tower Pics Rekindled interest in elevator safety bill MCE Tape Reader Fault Elevator Man Stories Kindle Edition Released NEII® online Accident Document Source HUD looks into elevator problems at Thousand Oaks

Woman Killed In Elevator in NY, 34 Violations for “Failure to Maintain Elevators”

While I’m certain that there will be more articles to follow covering this terrible accident in New York this latest one concerns me greatly. Written by the NY Daily Times, you can read this article in its entirety by clicking the following link.  It’s important to note that this blog post is my own opinion and I’m simply asking questions based on what was mentioned in the article in the link above. The article may not have all the correct facts as I may not as well.  I also am not speculating as to what happening but merely pointing out what is covered in this article. There are two paragraphs that are alarming to me.

The first notes that there were a history of defects, “unsatisfactory” inspections and hazardous code violations, but officials Wednesday insisted recent issues involved matters unrelated to safety. This taken verbatim from the article has me a bit puzzled. I’m not an elevator inspector but how is a hazardous code violation unrelated to safety?

Let’s take a look at how haz-ard-ous is defined; 1. Full of risk, perilous, risky 2. Dependent on chance. Synonyms as outlined by the dictionary; 1. dangerous, unsafe 2. chancy, uncertain, risky speculative.

They had me at dangerous. So again I ask, how is hazardous not related to safety? I would assume that any violation should be related to safety.

The next paragraph was equally concerning to me. Of the 56 violations noted since 1999, 34 of them were for “failure to maintain elevators”.  I’m not sure what code the City of New York is under but the A17.1 – 2007 copy that I’ve got has a special section that deals with elevator maintenance in its entirety and it can be found under 8.6. Maintenance, Repair and Replacement. Get a copy of the code book through ASME and take a look through the requirements as outlined by the code.  As far as I’m aware elevators and escalators are machines that must be maintained and 8.6 makes it pretty easy to figure out the steps that need to be taken to do so. I'm pretty sure that even the City of New York requires that 8.6 is followed.

Not that I'm pointing the finger at anyone or speculating what happened,  investigators right now are figuring that out. I can assure you that when they do, it's not going to be pretty.