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Elevator and Escalator Accidents: who are the victims?

Elevator Accident Deaths in ConstructionIn 2017 24,890 people who suffered personal injury in an escalator or elevator accident were treated in American hospitals, compared to 25,951 in 2016 and 19,005 in 2007. The number of elevator accident injuries has been on the rise over the last 10 years in the US.

Fatalities related to elevator and escalator accidents are less common and occur mostly on construction sites. According to the Quarterly Report recently published by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) 28 workers died in elevator accidents on construction sites in 2016 compared to 14 in 2003. The number of workers dying in elevator accidents has been on a rising trend since 2003 with a peak at 37 in 2015.

The workers who are the most at risk of dying in an elevator accidents are those who are constructing, assembling or dismantling elevators. They represent 40% of the elevator accidents fatalities in construction. Workers who are operating heavy equipment and workers in charge of the repair and the maintenance are also at risk of dying in elevator accidents. They both represent 20% of the elevator accident fatalities suffered by construction workers.

Fall is the number one cause of death  in elevator accidents involving construction workers followed by being caught in or compressed by object or equipment. More than half of the deadly elevator accidents on construction sites are falls.  Caught in or compressed by object or equipment represents another 25% of all elevator accident related fatalities. Most of the time, death results from multiple traumatic injuries, intracranial injuries or internal injuries to organs and blood vessels of the trunk.

Young workers with less experience are more susceptible to die in elevator accidents than older workers. A third of all construction workers who died in an elevator accident between 2011 and 2016 were younger than 35 year old. As a comparison workers below 35 year old account for a quarter of all construction accident fatalities.

While elevator accident fatalities have been on the rise on US construction sites injuries have been on a slightly declining trend.

The complete report can be downloaded here