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EESF Safety Week 2011

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An overview of the 18th Annual National Elevator Safety Awareness Week held in November 2011 across North America

The 18th-annual National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week (Safety Week) took place on November 13-19, 2011, across North America. Safety Week provides a focal point for the industry to join together with the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) at the national and local levels to spread the word about public safety in the elevator and escalator industry.

Twenty-one governors and 42 mayors signed proclamations officially recognizing Safety Week. There was one new state participant (Oklahoma) and nine new city participants (Honolulu; Wichita, Kansas; Jersey City, New Jersey; Reno, Nevada; Cleveland; Plano, Texas; Newport News, Virginia; and Vancouver, Washington). Also noteworthy was a proclamation by New York City (NYC), the first since 1997, and the first proclamation by Alabama’s new governor, Dr. Robert Bentley. The governors of eight states (Alaska, Arkansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Rhode Island) also listed the event on their websites.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator in Memphis

ThyssenKrupp Elevator promoted Safety Week on November 16, 2011, by distributing EESF materials. The company promoted the week’s events in its newsletter, Viewpoint, speaking specifically as to how you can engage your customers, potential customers and the general public by using materials from EESF. Sixteen participants plus David Daum and Steve Manston worked with the company’s Memphis branch, reaching more than 100 people. “By providing valuable safety tips and promoting safe riding practices, you help keep the public safer and informed. Also, this is an excellent way to support building trusted advisor relationships,” said ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s North American Field Operations Director of Repair Sales Development Stephanie J. Petkers. Much additional education was distributed through separate Safe-T Rider© school presentations by ThyssenKrupp Elevator volunteers.

KONE and EESF Partner for Awareness During Safety Week

KONE joined EESF in celebrating Safety Week throughout the campaign. KONE branches around the U.S. educated their communities on the safe and proper use of elevators, escalators and moving walks through EESF’s programs. KONE utilized all three of EESF’s programs, including “Rise Up Safe Rider,” featuring booths and brochures for distribution at high-risk customer locations, including malls, airports and public-transportation locations; A Safe Ride®, distributed to senior citizens at retirement communities; and Safe-T Rider, presented to children via a feature rap video, printed materials and student/presenter interaction.

To prepare for the week, KONE conducted a viral e-mail campaign to promote elevator and escalator safety. The following message, preceding elevator and escalator safety tips, was sent to its customers in the U.S. and Canada in English and French:

“I was returning from a business trip, hands full with luggage. My mind was on getting home to my family as I stepped onto the escalator and hastily juggled my luggage so that I could have a hand free for the handrail. As the escalator descended, I vaguely noticed two young children riding in front of me as they pestered each other, fighting over a souvenir.

“Suddenly, the escalator came to a stop. Thankfully, I was holding the handrail and managed to keep my balance. I walked the rest of the way down, and saw the children’s souvenir wedged in the escalator, which had triggered the escalator to turn off. The kids had tripped over a few steps when the escalator stopped but were kept from falling by their parents. I was glad we were all okay and felt especially fortunate that I [had been] holding the handrail. This could have had a much different outcome. Next time I see kids playing around or people not holding the handrail, I’ll speak up.

“Most of us find ourselves in an airport or at a shopping mall at one time or another. Sometimes we are preoccupied with dodging out of the way of other people, window shopping, or juggling shopping bags or luggage. What I learned from this is that I can help others stay safe. If you see something, say something. I know next time I will.

“November 13-19, 2011, is National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week. Please help promote elevator and escalator safety by forwarding this safety message to others. And, most importantly, please follow the above safety tips and stay safe!

“Please visit www.eesf.org to learn more.”

Steve Bruner, KONE director of risk management, initiated the e-mail, which asked each recipient to forward it to as many people as possible. Bruner estimates that more than 20,000 received the e-mail. He and a 12-person team from the U.S. and Canada asked all KONE operations to complete onsite safety events using “Rise Up Safe Rider” material, conduct the A Safe Ride program at a retirement community or present Safe-T Rider to students at a local school. In addition, the KONE Call Center promoted Safety Week on all non-emergency calls, a promotional flyer was shipped with all KONE Spares packages, 16,000 customers were reached by KONE’s newsletter and the company’s field technicians were sent handheld-device messages about Safety Week and were encouraged to share the news with customers.

Vance Tang, executive vice president and area director of KONE Americas, commented:

“KONE is committed to transporting people in a safe and efficient manner. Educating our customers and their users on safety and proper use is an important part of reducing and eliminating accidents. The program is a great reminder to the public and our customers that safety comes first.”

 2011 was the fourth year KONE has engaged in Safe-T Rider to educate and bring awareness to a total of nearly 25,000 young children. At Oak Grove Elementary School in Clackamas, Oregon, company volunteers presented the program to 134 students through six presentations. Laurie Dueitt, EESF program director, recognized the contribution in saying, “Our partnership with KONE not only helps us meet our goal of reaching over 600,000 children a year, but serves as a great example of how the industry can help educate the public.”

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