National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week

Posted on November 18, 2009 by

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Brien Hopkins
The Man Shark

What a week! The excitement in the air was elevating. But I don’t need to remind you that last week, Nov 8th -14th, was National Elevator Escalator Safety Awarenesses Week! Who could forget? It’s always the second full week of November!

This is a promotion of public safety awareness for the industry’s equipment. Everyone is invited to make this special week a huge success in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Safety Week provides a focal point for the industry, on a local and national level, to join together as individuals, companies and organizations and spread the word about public safety in the elevator industry. At the same time, Safety Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by the industry to the quality of life. Volunteers reach millions of riders with important safety messages in many locations during this celebration. – Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (founded 1991)

Personally, I made this year’s Nat Double-E Safetay Week (as we say in certain circles) a huge success, by volunteering at my local subway station, with the aid -of course- of my $350 Safety Week Kit (What a steal! These are still available!). I set up camp at the bottom of the escalator, and spread the good word to my fellow Boston T Riders! It felt great to reach out to my community, knowing I was joining together with individuals everywhere, doing our part to spread escalator and elevator safety across this great nation, and parts of Canada.

escalator elevator safety kit

$350 Safety Week Kit: Planning Guide, a table cloth customized with the EESF Safety Week logo, an EESF display banner, 2 Safe-T Rider DVDs, 5 Safe-T Rider posters, 500 Safe-T Rider Activity Books and 500 Safe-T Rider stickers. (EESF.org)

However, Kinko’s refused to sponsor the cause, charging me in full for my custom ‘Safe-T ‘ emergency flow charts (still available!). Some people just can’t get into the true spirit of Escalator & Elevator Safety. And that troubles me on a deep patriotic level.

If it were up to me, every week would be National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week. Instead, the national calendar focuses on trivial pursuits. African American’s get the whole month of February, for history! And Flag Day?! That’s an inanimate object! I think, as a nation, we need to step back and re-prioritize our national days of respect. Maybe even do some calendar re-arrangements.

The nation’s safety is at stake, and the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation has to share its single week with Veteran’s day! They already have monuments! I think I speak for the entire EESF when I say, get your own day, Veterans! It’s just one stupid day. I’m sure you can squeeze it in somewhere else. In the meantime, the EESF is trying to make the nation safer. Maybe you should stop shining your purple hearts, and help!

I’m proposing year-round Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness. “According to industry experts, elevators and escalators are the safest form of transportation in the world,” reports Ashley H. Rains, EESF Public Relations director, in her 5 page article, Riding Elevators and Escalators Safely. Yet injuries still occur! People simply are not aware of the danger. Just yesterday, my right shoe lace came lose on an escalator and crept uncomfortably close to the end of the stairwell. Fortunately, I had the quick wit to slip my foot out before the event-horizon, and I abandoned the shoe altogether.

That is the readiness the American public needs to adopt. Why? Let me drop some data on you:

  • Fact: Dozens of Americans deal with elevator/escalator related injuries or sickness on a monthly basis.
  • Fact: In case of fire, use stairs.
  • Fact: Elevators and Escalators are on the rise.

The threat is real. The solution is simple. Write to your local congressmen, make them aware of this important issue’s prominence, and ask them to promote year round safety awareness initiatives.

Ride safely.

And remember: when approaching a closing elevator door, leave it alone. Wait for the next one. If you’re on an elevator with violators of this rule, calmly step off, and report them to the EESF.

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