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Safety Week

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Schindler and Air Carrier Access Act Safety Department representatives were on hand all week to hand out conveyance safety literature to both adults and children.

The latest National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week 2013 took place on November 10-16, 2013, across North America. Intended as a focal point for the industry to join together on local and national levels to support elevator and escalator riding safety, Safety Week is also an opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by the industry to the quality of life. EESF’s flagship program and mascot, Safe-T Rider©, made appearances at many schools during the week. In this program, a presentation on safety is given, followed by a rap video, a short quiz on proper riding techniques, then the mascot itself, a “special guest” students are usually ecstatic to see.

Prior to Safety Week, the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety Conveyance Program sent EESF information packets to all Denver Public Elementary Schools with activities and materials designed to increase awareness of elevator and escalator safety for children. On November 11, Safe-T Rider and representatives of the division greeted workers as they arrived at elevators in the lobby of a downtown office building and provided them with information about conveyance safety. The division also indicated its desire to present the safety program to the elderly through EESF’s A Safe Ride®.

In addition to the State of Colorado, EESF appreciated the New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB), Dotty Stanlaske and Jessica Morr of NAESA International in Washington, and Dave Hansen of Vertex in Pennsylvania for participating in Safety Week. NYCDOB employee Donald Franklin educated 2,270 children at 10 elementary schools.

The Pittsburgh International Airport noted its desire to participate in Safety Week due to its timeliness, “with the holiday travel season approaching, when people are likely to be rushing with large bags and toddlers in tow.” In preparation, airport officials and Schindler representatives conducted a risk assessment on slips, falls and other injuries on conveyances around the airport. Its data showed that during June 2012-June 2013, there were 113 slip-and-fall incidents at the airport, 53 of which involved conveyances. Injuries ranged from minor bumps and bruises to stitches and medical care. The airport has 31 escalators, 21 moving walks and eight elevators in its terminals. Paul Saxon, Airport Safety administrator, explained, “We are working to identify all potential hazards, and then using an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to help mitigate those hazards and promote safe ridership for all.”

Children, the elderly and overloaded travelers were found to be at particular risk for slips and falls on conveyances. Other risks included long skirts or dresses and improper footwear. Saxon agrees with the EESF that preventing injuries can be as easy as pointing out the locations of elevators to those struggling with items such as heavy bags and strollers, and using canes or walkers.

Schindler representatives helped airport workers distribute thousands of safety brochures to vertical-transportation passengers throughout Safety Week. They also hosted an interactive seminar at the airport on November 13. “Safety is a top priority at Schindler, and being on hand to educate passengers on safe riding behavior is extremely important,” explained Lou DeLoreto, vice president, Safety, for Schindler.

Saxon continued:

“Conveyances in an airport setting [provide] a unique challenge. Passengers are routinely rushing through the airport to catch their [flights] with luggage in tow. This event was a great opportunity to not only educate the traveling public, but also reach out to airport employees. In fact, both Transportation Security Administration officials and airline employees have indicated their willingness to help encourage the use of elevators in lieu of escalators. Hopefully, our efforts will result in a reduction in conveyance-related slip-and-fall incidents going forward.”

This year’s Safety Week will take place on November 9-15. For information on how to get involved, contact EESF toll free: (800) 949-6442, e-mail: info@eesf.org or website: www.eesf.org.

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