Boosting awareness of elevator safety

by on March 3, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Elevators cause an estimated 30 deaths and 17,000 injuries each year. Individuals working on or near elevators account for a substantial amount of those deaths and injuries.

Here’s how supervisors can protect those installing and repairing elevators, and those working near an elevator, through safe workplace practices:

  1. De-energize and lock out electrical circuits and mechanical equipment when elevators are out of service or being repaired. Failure to make sure elevator parts don’t move during maintenance or repairs can result in electrocutions, workers caught in between elevator parts and workers struck by moving elevators.
  2. Establish a confined-space permit program for elevator shafts. If it’s necessary to work on live electrical systems – to move an elevator to test repairs for example – take special precautions by creating a permit system. A permit should describe appropriate engineering controls and safe work practices.
  3. Provide fall protection for work in or near elevator shafts, including scaffolding and guardrails in front of open shafts. For personal fall protection systems, choose adequate anchorage points and require workers tie off to them.
  4. Establish a regular inspection program. Ensure all elevators are inspected regularly by a licensed technician.
  5. Use only qualified workers for elevator maintenance. Make sure only properly licensed employees work on the elevators and clear the area of those not qualified to be there when the work is conducted.

Source: The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights.

photo credit: Iversonic

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