Escalator Injuries on the Rise

33469224_mIn 2013 there were 12,260 escalator-related injuries and deaths. That’s two and a half times the 4,900 reported in 1990. While there are only about 35,000 escalators compared to 900,000 elevators in the U.S., there are 18 times as many escalator accidents as elevator accidents. Although entrapment accidents tend to make the headlines, falls are by far the most common cause of escalator injuries and deaths.

Escalator Falls

When it comes to escalator hazards, entrapment gets all of the attention both in the media and in safety regulations. That makes sense on the surface. Entrapment injuries often lead to young children having toes amputated, and the teeth on escalators are pretty scary-looking and can do some very real harm.

However, that is an emotional response. Falls from and falls on escalators are responsible for more than 75% of escalator injuries serious enough to require treatment in a hospital, and for the majority of escalator deaths.

Children and the Elderly

Children and the elderly account for a disproportionately large portion of those injured in escalator accidents. A 2006 study analyzing Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data found that 26,000 children, 18 and under, were treated in emergency rooms for escalator injuries between 1990 and 2002.

According to researchers from the University of Indiana, 40,000 older adult were injured in escalator accidents from 1991 to 2005, with falls being the most common cause of injury. 3,000 of those injuries were treated in emergency rooms.

Escalators could be Safer

The escalator industry has successfully fought any meaningful regulation, and chooses not to implement that known safety features that could prevent escalator falls.

If you were recently hurt in an escalator accident, you may have a premises liability claim. Talk to an accident attorney if you think someone else was at fault for your injuries.

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