Incidents involving elevators and escalators kill about 30 and seriously injure about 17,000 people each year in the United States, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Elevators cause almost 90 percent of the deaths and 60 percent of serious injuries. Injuries to people working on or near elevators - including those installing, repairing, and maintaining elevators, and working in or near elevator shafts - account for 14 (almost half) of the annual deaths. Half of the deaths of workers working in or near elevator shafts were due to falls into the shaft. Incidents where workers were caught in/between moving parts of elevators and escalators, are in or on elevators or platforms that collapse, or are struck by elevators or counterweights are also numerous. Recommendations to prevent elevator- and escalator-related deaths and injuries include ensuring that: 1) Workplace protective practices and training are adequate. In particular: De-energizing and locking out electrical circuits and mechanical equipment when elevators and escalators are out of service or being repaired Establishing a permit-required confined-space program for elevator shafts Providing fall protection during work in or near elevator shafts 2) Employers have an adequate inspection and maintenance program. 3) Employers use only qualified workers for escalator and elevator repair and maintenance.
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