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Accident Claims May Get An In Store Lift Or Injuries Escalate During Christmas

17th December 2013
In a six month period leading up to exactly this time last year, 21 incidents occurred on the escalators at Manchester Piccadilly station and passengers were advised to hold on to the handrails rather than their bags when going up the escalators. While accident claims for an injury sustained on an escalator are not common, it’s not unknown. Just at the end of October 2012, a boy was injured after falling down an escalator in a large Nottingham retail store.

While the normal running operation of escalators and lifts are mostly trouble free, minor accidents and injuries, such as stubbed toes, grazed shins and bruised elbows can occur during the daily rush hour periods to and from work. Losing your balance and falling can occur at any time if you fail to watch out for where the moving tread meets the ground or trying to quickly run up or down an escalator. But it’s during the run-up to Christmas that an accident could suddenly happen.

In a recent blog post, The Seasonal Shopping Period Of Traditional Accidents And Injuries, some of the more obvious pitfalls of Christmas shopping, such as products falling off stacked shelves, were touched upon. Undoubtedly, one of the potentially biggest hazards will be crowded instore and shopping centre lifts and escalators, which are prone to break down under the additional volume of traffic.

Common faults known to develop are escalator emergency stop mechanisms failing or a lift stops just an inch or two short of the correct floor, which could cause sudden jerking movements. If the lift is very crowded, the other passengers might simply not notice the incorrect stopping place and try to quickly depart the lift, causing people to trip up and further injuries to take place.

Sometimes, the lift doors may close shut at the precise moment when a passenger tries to belatedly enter or leave. Worst case scenarios are lifts which simply stop mid floor or the main cable malfunctioning causing the lift to actually fall.

However, most injury claims for incidents on escalators or lifts tend to be centred upon accidents occurring as a result of maintenance and related safety issues, and the duty and responsibilities of the equipment and /or premises managers / owners.