elevator mechanic safety

Keeping Safety Front and Center!

I truly love the passion that Bob Shepherd brings to our industry and in promoting safety. His latest letter shared in NAESA International Progress Newsletter is spot on in how we all need to be thinking about safety.  I encourage you to share this with your coworkers and let's all do our part in making accidents non existent.  Also consider becoming a member of NAESA International.  They are the authority on safety and live and breath it every day.  

Bob Shepherd, Executive Director

Bob Shepherd, Executive Director

2017 - September Edition of the Progress - Bob Shepherd - NAESA International

This is one of the most difficult PROGRESS articles I have ever written. With great sadness, I share with you, that we have lost three more members from our elevator family to “accidents” all three fatalities happened in North America, not that it matters where. There were three separate accidents and in one of the “accidents” there was also an elevator family member who was critically injured, but luckily, he has survived! Will this never end? We will all miss the three mechanics and pray for the speedy recovery of the helper injured. 
          Along with all this terrible news, an elevator inspector almost became a fatality while doing his job after entering a pit on a LULA. Not one of these “accidents” should have happened. I see no reason to list names or details, they are just “accidents”, so who really cares, we all should! The details will be known to most in time. Why do I put quotes around the word, accident? For two reasons: I hate hearing the word and I personally believe that there are very few actually accidents by definition. To me an accident is when a plane falls on your head, a slim chance of happening at 1 in 400,000,000 or possibly you get hit by a meteorite, odds are 1 in 1,600,000, events which are preventable are not “accidents”. To digress, why no reason to list names and details of the “accidents”? Names will be forgotten and details will fade, we all have such short memories these days, so all will fade away quickly, while the pain and sorry remains in the lives of the survivors forever, such a shame for the people who are forced to remember. How will the rest of us never forget and never fall victim?
It is time for all the industry to fix this safety issue, elevator companies, all segments of labor, every elevator trade organization and every individual who works in or around the industry needs to find a way to come together and work to put an end to this carnage. These past few weeks has hit me like a ton of bricks and it shows me and many that we are not doing enough. NAESA will find a way to keep safety of the worker and the rider always foremost, this I promise. Please, let’s work together to put an end to this recurring awful news. Contact me with your ideas and let’s see if we can form a safety council from all segments of the industry as I listed earlier to try and find the golden nugget to stop this insanity. Please contact Bob Shepherd 609-780-5551 if you believe you can help!
An Accident: 
1. an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
2. an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
“An accident, also known as unintentional injury, is an undesirable, incidental, and unplanned event that could have been preventedhad circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. Most scientists who study unintentional injury avoid using the term "accident" and focus on factors that increase risk of severe injury and that reduce injury incidence and severity (Robertson, 2015).”
          Seems like nothing is working, the same old is still the same old and people are still getting injured and some are dying, while installing and servicing elevating devices of all designs. Looks like we need to try something new to change the status quo and wake up the masses, let’s poke and awaken the safety listlessness and boredom with an added personal touch of safety caring. Most people are aware in some manner; alcohol anonymous, weight watchers, exercise trainers, educational tutors and the like which often use coaches or sponsors to help people get through the day, night and the hard times. Why not have a safety buddy, a friend, a safety sponsor, someone dedicated to a person to enhance the safety message daily and to be there when things get tough or confusing to help a friend avoid taking a risk. Ok, so I sound crazy, but what is in place now, the safety status quo is not working. If you believe it is working and you are comfortable with a serious accident or fatality happening every couple of months or that some certain amount fatalities are part of the industry, then shame on you! I will never accept a single fatality and I believe no one else ever will! Team up, become safety buddies and help keep a friend alive. Be there for your friend, fellow father, mother, husband, wife, brother or sister. Team up and say hi each morning and remind your safety buddy to work safe and remember who waits for you at the end of the day. You will call a friend to talk about who won that ballgame, so let’s all find a friend to call and talk about safety which is much more important. Please help keep a friend safe and at the same time keep yourself safe!
Share the below to all, it worked for me when my mind was racing and my anxieties were trying to take over: 
Any level of anxiety can cloud your thoughts and may lead to an accident, to you or the public!

Twelve steps for Safety and Life:

  1. If you feel your anxieties taking over, stop what you are doing immediately
  2. Find a safe place and exhale ten deep breaths, inhaling takes care of itself
  3. Never forget your loved ones, call a special person now
  4. Talk about now to yourself and do a hazard assessment of the situation
  5. Focus on "the now", don’t forget the small stuff, it may hurt you
  6. Continually think of your safety and your family and friends waiting for you
  7. Get help as needed, put pride aside, don't let your ego cloud your judgment
  8. When help via telephone is not absolutely needed, turn off your cell phone.
  9. Remove distractions: tell distracting people to go away
  10. Once calm, then and only then start the task after you have mitigated all risk and have a plan in place to proceed safely
  11. Don’t hesitate to start the steps over if anxieties rise again
  12. Recognize when all has failed, get help and support immediately

In closing:
          I will be speaking at the Wisconsin Elevator Safety Symposium once more and I will be talking SAFETY, I am just speaking for thirty minutes, so I will talk fast, please be there for safety and me! I can’t wait to see my friends and NAESA members once more. Dates: Wisconsin Symposium, September 28th & 29th
          Also with all the speakers, there will be a very informative presentation given at the Wisconsin Symposium given by: Geraldine Burdeshaw of ASME describing the Interpretation/Inquiry process and what a Code Case is and its future use. Don’t miss it, the conversation will be very informative and help with an inspector’s duties. 
Let’s continue to work together to help save lives by doing whatever it takes, life is worth the effort! I love you all and I want you all here with me for many years to come! 
Thanks for listening and your support, be safe!


          Bob Shepherd
          “Stay Safety Pinned” 

If we don’t try and without the help of all, it will never end! Please Help!

**Reposted with Permission From Bob Shepherd - Executive Director NAESA International**

In memory of Robert Caporale and his dedication to elevator safety.       The Elevator Industry Safety Summit  Phoenix, AZ May 21-23, 2017

In memory of Robert Caporale and his dedication to elevator safety.  

The Elevator Industry Safety Summit
Phoenix, AZ
May 21-23, 2017

A few words from a wife and mother and my thoughts:
I just read today about a man who was very gentle, at times too gentle and showed consideration for all. I read he was a great supporter of family, loved his two children and even though his work was busy, he always found time to spend with his children. He would often take them to zoos and aquariums, where his children would always find joy and excitement. Watching his children, he would always smile and be happy. I also read that he was a great father.
He passed in December of 2016 and now is gone forever. This is a quote from a letter his wife wrote after the accident, who I will keep anonymous for her privacy:

“His happiness was the happiness of his family, and I am sure he intended to protect us always. I am still unable to fully come to terms with our sudden parting. Even now he must be worried about the family he left behind. Now I pray only that he be free of concern and simply watch after our lives from above.”

This husband, father and mechanic was 32 years of age.

Excerpt from a recent email from a good friend and elevator consultant to me below:
“It is with a heavy heart and tears rolling down my face that I am compelled to inform you of another elevator man dying a preventable death. Earlier today, a technician was killed in a hoistway. I do not know exactly how the entire scene unfolded, but I know it was preventable!
It was only a couple of months ago, I shared my personal story with him while encouraging him to 'work safe'.  Chances are just that, chances!!
I saw him only yesterday while taking my mother to the doctor.  He inquired about my mother's condition (after a recent accident).  After a short conversation, I left him as I normally would, "be safe".  Had I only known-such a loss.
Please continue your vigilant efforts to ensure everyone is 'safety pinned'.”
Please read on: we all need to help stop the above words from being said!
All too frequently we read of a serious accident or fatality in the elevator industry which shocks the industry, but as when you see an automobile accident, you slow down for a few miles and tend to drive safer, but shortly after when the memory fades and other distractions occupy your mind, you accelerate that vehicle and start taking risks once more. The same happens in the elevator industry, people have a heightened awareness of safety after bad news hits the wire, but soon after laziness and the superman attitude takes over once more and risks are taken again. How do we keep safety awareness heightened and our workers safe and alive.

These two good men, great fathers and husbands in these sad stories above are now missed and will always be missed and never forgotten. These two fatalities have changed both families for the worse and their lives will never be the same from now and forever. We the industry all need to help now and forever.
The Elevator Industry Safety Summit is something I wanted to make happen for years, but never had the forum to do so, but now I do and with the help of the entire industry, just maybe we can find that golden nugget which will hopefully end the occurrence of severe accidents and fatalities forever, for certain what we are doing now is not working.
This is not a NAESA International event alone, it is an Elevator Industry wide event, except that I started the ball rolling and used NAESA International as the vehicle to possibly help save a life and some pain. I and NAESA have made an investment of our resources and finances, even though employees of NAESA will never be put at risk of an elevator accident in the workplace. NAESA believes that with the entire Elevator Industry working together as partners we can start to improve worker and rider safety for all. NAESA has taken a huge financial risk in hopes of pulling the industry together, please don’t let my dream and Bob Caporale’s dream fade. We need to all focus on safety together in hopes of possibly identifying, what we all have been missing for years and why we are still experiencing major accidents and fatalities to the elevator worker and at times to the riding public. 
So, in closing: without all the Elevator Industry’s support, financially and by attending, we will all fail and then our first and maybe only chance to bring and bond this industry together as a family may slip away. This type of safety event has never happened before, where so many people have decided to put all aside and work together for the common good and the united goal of safety, but we still need many more involved by attending and offering financial support.

Cutoff date for Hotel Reservation under the room block is April 21st.
See attached flier by clicking here.
Please help by attending and also by financially supporting the Elevator Industry Safety Summit through a sponsorship offering, and please find it in your hearts to support the Elevator Safety Summit financially, even if you find it impossible to attend. Your thoughtful sponsorship will be placed on banners at the event and placed in the Safety Summit event program. As I stated earlier, NAESA has no real stake in the game or iron in the fire, but we have a heart which wants to help make this elevator world safer by working in: “The Public Interest”.
Please call me: Bob Shepherd Executive Director of NAESA International, I will be more than glad to let you know where my heart is about safety. I love each and every person out there in the elevator world and I cry each time I hear that my elevator family is grieving.
Our elevator family needs your help!
Please call me, I would love to share my thoughts with you on where we are with the summit!
Sincerely, Bob Shepherd 609.780.5551

"Stay Safety Pinned"