For Journalists

Back   Next

Safe Steps: A Guide To Building Transportations Safety

Every year, elevators, escalators and moving walks safely transport over 100 billion passengers in North America. Excluding automobiles, that is more than the total of riders of all other forms of transportation combined.

Compared to the number of daily passenger rides, elevator and escalator injuries are so rare that safety is often taken for granted, but elevators, escalators and moving walks are complex machines and occasionally injuries do occur, usually as a result of unsafe riding practices.

According to industry experts, elevators and escalators are the safest form of transportation in the world. Many accidents can be prevented simply by being aware of your surroundings and by following simple safety rules.

Elevator Safety

    When waiting for elevators:
  • Know your destination.
  • Push the elevator call button once for the direction you want to go in.
  • Look and listen for the signal announcing the car's arrival.
  • Be aware of health conditions that could contribute to falls or accidents.
  • Stand clear of the elevator doors and stand aside for exiting passengers.
  • If the arriving car is full, wait for the next car.
  • Don't attempt to maneuver in or stop closing doors, wait for the next car.
  • In the event of a fire or other situations that could lead to a disruption in electrical services, do not take the elevator.
    When boarding and riding elevators:
  • Watch your step - the elevator car may not be perfectly level with the landing.
  • Stand clear of the doors - keep clothes and carry-ons away from the opening.
  • Hold children and pets firmly.
  • Leashed pets should be on same side of door as the passenger so door does not close on extended leash.
  • Passengers nearest to the doors should move first when the car arrives.
  • Push and hold the DOOR OPEN button if doors need to be held open, or ask someone to push the button for you.
  • Never try to stop a closing door, wait for the next car.
  • Once on board, quickly press the button for your floor and move to the back of the car to make room for other passengers.
  • If unsteady on your feet, hold the handrail, if available, and stand near the elevator wall.
  • Pay attention to the floor indicators.
  • If the doors do not open when the elevator stops, push the DOOR OPEN button.
    When exiting elevators:
  • Exit immediately at your floor. Do not wait for others behind you.
  • Do not push the people in front of you when exiting.
  • Watch your step - the elevator car may not be perfectly level with the floor.
    In the event of an elevator emergency:
  • If the elevator should ever stop between floors, do not panic. There is plenty of air in the elevator.
  • Never climb out of a stalled elevator.
  • Use the ALARM button, the telephone or the intercom to call for assistance.
  • Above all, wait for qualified help to arrive and never try to leave an elevator that has not made a normal stop.
  • Emergency lighting will come on in the event of a power failure.

Escalator and Moving Walk Safety

    When entering escalators/moving walks:
  • Watch the direction of the moving step and step on and off with extra care.
  • Take care if you are wearing bifocals or similar eyewear.
  • Hold children firmly with one arm or hold child's free hand.
  • Hold packages firmly in one hand, but always leave one hand available to hold the handrail.
  • Grasp the handrail as you step onto the moving step.
  • Do not go in the opposite direction of the escalator/moving walk.
  • Do not take strollers, wheelchairs, electric scooters, hand carts, luggage carts or similar items on the escalator/moving walk.
    When riding escalators:
  • Keep loose clothing clear of steps and sides.
  • Wear closed-toed and hard-soled shoes, and avoid wearing footwear made of soft-resin or other rubbery materials.
  • Stand clear of the sides of the escalator/moving walk.
  • Face forward and hold handrail for the entire ride.
  • Reposition your hand slowly if the handrail moves slightly ahead or behind the steps.
  • Don't rest any items or parcels on the handrail, outer deck or lean against the sides.
  • Don't climb onto or ride the handrail.
  • Do not let children sit on steps or stand too close to sides.
  • If children are too small to hold handrail, or holding the handrail positions them close to the side of the escalator/moving walk, hold their hand and keep them centered on the step.
    When exiting escalators:
  • Don't hesitate and step off promptly.
  • On an escalator, be sure to step over the comb fingers; don't let your feet slide off the end of the escalator.
  • Immediately move clear of the escalator/moving walk exit area; don't stop to talk or look around since other passengers may be behind you.
In order to avoid injuries, be extra careful on escalators/moving walk if you are riding with young children, or wearing loose or long clothing. If there is an emergency, push one of the STOP buttons located at the landings of the escalator/moving walk near the handrail or floor level.

Child Safety

    Tips to Help Ensure Children's Safety:
  • Do not allow small children to ride escalators alone.
  • Tie all shoelaces and clothing drawstrings and secure all loose items such as toys before boarding.
  • Upon stepping onto an escalator, hold the child firmly by the hand, while grasping the handrail with your other hand.
  • If children are too small to hold handrail, or holding the handrail pulls them close to the side of the escalator, hold their hand and keep them centered on the step.
  • Do not allow children to sit on steps or handrails, or walk/run on the escalator.
  • Do not take strollers on escalators. Use the elevator instead.
  • Position children on the step immediately in front of you, facing forward, with their feet in the center of the step.
  • Lift children who are under five years old on and off an escalator. They may not yet possess the motor skills necessary to time getting on and off safely.
  • Most of all, stress to children that an escalator is not a toy or an amusement ride. Do not play on an escalator!


#  #  #

Back   Next



National Elevator Industry, Inc.
NEII and NEII logo - Registered, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Copyright © 2003-2019 NEII