Who is Liable for Injuries While Working on Elevators?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC August 16, 2013 General

According to OSHA, the top four causes of construction worker deaths in 2011 were from falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, and being pinned or caught in between two objects. Elevator repairers and installers are exposed to all of these hazards. In a study revised in 2006 by The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, 173 deaths occurred annually in a 12 year period associated with elevator work, with 14 per year due to falls into the shaft. Workers that are working in the elevator of even near it can become victims of such accidents. Employers have a responsibility to protect workers on the job site to prevent injury and fatalities.

OSHA standards say that elevator safety measures include:

Detailed inspections annually.
General inspections monthly.
Proper barricades placed around an elevator opening such as gates or doors, with appropriate hazard warning signs when elevator is not at the landing
Treat the elevator as a confined space, and instruct the employee how to act accordingly in such a space.
A lockout/tagout system for electrical circuits. One person must be designated with a key that can turn on and shut off circuits. This prevents a worker from being inside or around the machine and having the power suddenly come on, which can cause a serious injury or death,
Proper fall protection should be given to workers such as a harness and shock absorbing lanyards.
Allow only persons that are licensed and qualified to work on an elevator and be in the area. Only have the minimum amount of people required to do the job in the space.

Elevator work-related injuries and deaths are far too common. If you or a loved one has been injured because of an employer’s failure to provide adequate protection, contact an experienced NY construction accident attorney to schedule an appointment today.

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