Elevator injuries can occur anywhere in any building or construction site where elevators are used. Building owners and/or management companies may be fined if their elevators are not kept current with safety codes and standards including properly working safety equipment and safety devices. They can also be held liable for elevator injuries if they fail to develop and implement emergency/rescue plans and to train employees in the implementation of those plans.
Service and maintenance companies can also be found liable for faulty elevators. Elevators are complicated pieces of machinery and very few building owners or managers have the know-how to maintain and service their elevators. They often enter into agreements with specialized service and maintenance companies who are then responsible for, at minimum, monthly lubrication, adjustments, maintenance, and upgrades. These companies are responsible to know current standards and changes in codes and standards. They can also be held accountable for defective repairs and for failing to keep maintenance records.
Elevator accidents can arise from any number of malfunctions or careless maintenance, and injuries can result from any of the following:
- Mechanical malfunction of the pulley system allowing the elevator to freefall down the shaft
- Improper leveling that keeps the elevator from lining up properly with the floor
- Falls resulting from an exposed elevator shaft
- Asphyxiation from being trapped inside an elevator too long
- Accidental electrocution due to faulty wiring
- Becoming trapped between the elevator car and side wall
Injuries that can be caused by elevator accidents can be catastrophic. Some of the injuries that have been reported from elevator accidents are spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury burn injury, and head trauma, amputation of limbs, paraplegia, quadriplegia, nerve damage, facial paralysis and even death.
As you can see many elevator accidents are severe and can cause injuries that last a lifetime.