Over the years, there have been multiple stories of escalator-related incidents.
Earlier this year, the lower steps of an escalator in a Tampines mall collapsed – thankfully, no one was injured!
While accidents such as this are rare, it has heightened our awareness around escalator safety. Although the truly tragic accidents are the ones that tend to make news, escalator injuries are not as rare as you may think. According to Safetyresearch.net, while there are more elevators than escalators (in the US), “injuries occur more frequently on escalators, about 15 times more frequently than elevators.”
Most injuries involve young children or senior citizens. Common accidents include clothing (including shoes) getting caught and people falling over the edge (leaning over too far or dropping a child). Escalator maintenance and standards vary by country and while you can’t control how they are maintained, you can be a vigilant escalator passenger.
So what can you do to keep you and your family safe?
1) Step on and off carefully. Especially during rush hour or on busy weekends, wait for the large crowds to pass and move in an orderly fashion.
2) People only. If you are walking with a stroller, cane, walker or wheeled vehicle/cart, always look for the elevator even if that means you have to wait or walk out of your way.
3) Hold the handrail. This seems obvious but something we forget. It is easy to lose balance on the moving steps.
4) Hold children or bags firmly with one hand. If your child is old enough to walk on and off the escalator, it may be safer to hold his hand instead of holding him in your arms. If you have too many bags or are struggling to carry everything, take the elevator.
5) Do not touch the sides below the handrail. This is especially important for little kids who may think it is fun.
6) Stand facing forward. Again, seems obvious but if you are with a crowd or trying to watch younger kids, you may be tempted to turn around or face sideways. Don’t. Children also may want to try to sit. This is especially dangerous if they are wearing loose clothing that may get caught.
7) Crocs and flip flop sandals can be especially dangerous. Take care if you are wearing clothes or shoes that may easily get caught, make you slip or can slip off.
8) If your child is cranky, tired or “fussing”, do not try to drag him onto the elevator. Move to the side and wait until he can safely step onto the escalator alone.
9) Know where emergency stop buttons are. Most escalators are equipped with at least one (sometimes more) emergency stop buttons. Take care to note where they are and alert other passengers to use them if you are faced with an emergency but the button is out of reach.
10) Walk slowly and carefully if you are in a rush. You know this but it bears repeating and reminding.
Stay safe Finder friends. And if you’re looking for who to call in case of emergency in Singapore, we’ve got the list.
By Kathleen Siddell, July 2015
More on The Finder:
Hacks, Must-Knows And More: The ULTIMATE Guide To Public Transport In Singapore
5 Time-Saving Life Hacks Everyone Living In Singapore Should Know About
Accidents and Emergencies Departments in Singapore
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