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Escalators: a question of safety


Escalators have become a mainstay in many Massachusetts area malls and are one of the main popular means of indoor bodily transportation after the elevator. Unfortunately, as with any modern convenience, the escalator comes with its own risks that users must be aware of before boarding. These risks, which have resulted in numerous injuries and even deaths, have inspired two university researchers to develop a new innovated alternative to escalators.

Injuries have been documented on escalators since its inception in the late 1800s. One injury involving a child resulted in the loss of a toe. Another injury involved a man getting a piece of his clothing caught in the mechanics of the machine, strangling him in the process. One of the most disastrous escalator incident occurred in London when 31 people died during an escalator explosion.

These unfortunate incidents sparked an inspiration in two London researchers to develop a safer alternative to escalators. Instead of having the steps revolve underneath the escalator like a conveyer belt, the new alternative loops around as one staircase moving up and down. Due to the fact that there is no landing platform, but merely a moving walkway in between the two staircases, the researchers believe this to be a safer alternative to traditional escalators.

Escalator injuries are serious matters, ones that may often be dealt with in a court of law. Some individuals who receive injuries in Massachusetts choose to work with a lawyer to seek compensation for their injuries due to dangerous property. Other lawsuits may be geared toward working on ways of making the escalator safer, such as installing emergency stop buttons or deflector brushes, so the injury will not happen again to another individual.

Source: Popsci, “FYI: Why Are Escalators So Dangerous?“, Ryan Bradley, September 17, 2013


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