Elevator Accidents

The first elevator was built by German inventor Werner Von Siemens in 1880. In 1889 the first commercially successful elevator was installed. The invention was made safer when electric doors closed as the elevator moved, making it a much safer mode of transport. However, they were not safe, and several fatal accidents took place in the 1900s. Modern elevators are relatively safe, with millions of people using this mode of transport every day.


Although they are relatively safe, there are still several accidents that can take place in and around an elevator. To ensure your businesses and buildings avoid these, you should have your elevator surveyed and assessed regularly. ATIS provides a management service that will give business owners the peace of mind that their elevators are safe for public use.

Defective Doors

The earliest documented elevator accident was in 1883 when a 15-year-old boy had his head decapitated by elevator doors in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, this accident is improbable; however, defective doors still can be a hazard. Most elevators are fitted with motion sensors that will not allow doors to close if something is in front of them. On some occasions, this can fail to detect a person or a limb; but most elevators are fitted with alarms and stop buttons, and passengers can press release to stop it moving.

Free Falls

You might imagine that this is something only seen in movies. Free falls, however, do happen. Elevators run on a pulley system that carries their incredible weight – thousands of pounds. After years of work, the pulley system can become overburdened. A snapped wire or faulty truck can send the whole elevator into a free fall, which puts passengers at serious risk of injury and death. The risk of free falls is still present in modern society and has happened on numerous occasions worldwide – the most famous was a 75 story fall in the Empire State Building in 1945; 1 passenger survived.

Faulty trucks and snapped wires can happen due to regular wear and tear. It is for this reason that it is integral to have an elevator regularly checked.

Speed Malfunctions

If any of the control systems, counterweights, or speed regulators in an elevator are not working, the elevator could rapidly gain speed. It is sporadic for this to happen, but it can still occur nevertheless. It can cause injuries to passengers as they might be thrown hard against the floor or ceiling.

Having your elevator assessed and looked over by a professional service will ensure the safety of the elevator cars running smoothly. The last thing any building owner needs is for their elevator to harm and injure its passengers. Accidents aside, elevators are a revolutionary form of travel. They provide ease and comfort, as well as accessibility. Without elevators, there would be real access issues for anyone who is elderly or has a physical disability.  Elevators today are safe and comfortable, and many come with air conditioning. With the correct maintenance, they are very safe.

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