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For holiday shoppers, escalators and elevators pose many dangers

For many New York City retailers, the holiday season is the busiest time. As we discussed in a recent blog post, individuals who choose to journey out shopping on notoriously busy shopping days like Black Friday where aggressive crowds, askew merchandise and general chaos is the norm, may end up getting more than they bargained for.

In addition to these holiday shopping hazards, retail stores that are equipped with escalators and elevators also pose certain inherent dangers that many people don't think about until it's too late. For frazzled and distracted shoppers, escalators can be especially hazardous as the moving parts can cause shoppers to trip and fall and suffer broken bones, sprains and strains.

Escalators are often especially intriguing and dangerous for young children who may have difficulty stepping onto or off of a moving staircase as well as hanging onto the moving hand rail. To avoid a child suffering a trip-and-fall accident, parents should ensure that they hold a child's hand and assist a child with mounting and dismounting escalator stairs.

For shoppers who are elderly, disabled or who have small children in strollers; the use of elevators is often necessary. Trip, fall and crush injuries are some of the most common that shoppers who use elevators may suffer. These types of injuries frequently occur when elevators are overcrowded and shoppers may rush to enter or exit a car or may attempt to stop an elevator's doors from closing.

Holiday shoppers, who are fed up with waiting in long lines, may balk at the idea of also having to wait for an elevator. However, to ensure for everyone’s safety it's important that shoppers wait their turns and enter and exit an elevator car in an orderly manner.

Additionally, it's never a good idea to attempt to stop an elevator door from closing. While many elevators are equipped with sensors that automatically open upon sensing an obstruction, such a mechanism could always malfunction.

Source: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, "Escalators and Elevators," Dec. 7, 2015

National Elevator Industry, Inc. "Elevator Safety," Dec. 7, 2015

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