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Tennessee Observes Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 02:03am


NASHVILLE –Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed November 10-16, 2013, Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week in Tennessee. The purpose of this week is to increase public awareness of the safe and proper use of elevators, escalators and moving walkways. The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) sponsors Safety Week annually during the second full week of November.

“Tennessee has over 13,325 elevators and escalators,” said Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips. “It’s important that Tennesseans use them safely and properly.”

In the last 10 years, Tennessee has had only 96 reported non-serious accidents with elevators, escalators, moving walks, wheelchairs lifts, and ski lifts with one fatal accident.  This fatality occurred on August 2012 at a Harris Teeter grocery store when an 83-year-old woman placed her shopping cart on the pedestrian escalator and the cart tumbled on top of her causing her to fall to the bottom of the escalator. Conveyance misuse is the main cause of most accidents. 

“Riders are not supposed to roll luggage, carts, strollers or anything similar on to an escalator,” said Chief Elevator Inspector Ron Sidler. “This abuse causes most accidents.”

The Tennessee Department of Labor Elevator Division has 28 elevator inspectors that inspect every elevator in the state twice a year. They also inspect escalators, dumbwaiters, ski lifts, and trams, amounting to 20,000 inspections annually. In addition to acceptance inspections and routine inspections, elevator inspectors create accident reports.

The following are a few safety tips that help prevent accidents:



  • Watch your step
  • Leave closing doors alone
  • If doors don’t open, ring the 
alarm button
and wait; don’t try to open the doors

·         If there is a fire in the building, use 
the stairs

·         Never try to exit a stalled elevator car. It is extremely dangerous. Always wait for trained emergency personnel.

  • Step on and off carefully
  • People only – no strollers
  • Hold the handrail
  • Take care of younger children
  • Don’t touch the sides below 
the handrail

·         Stand facing forward

·         Beware there is an emergency 
button and use it in emergency situations only.

To learn more about Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week visit For more information about the Elevator Division visit



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