Each year the ride between floors is made easier when an estimated 90 billion riders use an escalator. Although most of those rides are without incident, the CPSC estimates there were approximately 11,000 escalator related injuries in 2007. The majority of these injuries are from falls but 10 percent occur when hands, feet or shoes are trapped in escalators.
The most common entrapment is to the foot. Soft-sided shoes are the most likely to get stuck and pose the possibility of injury to the rider. CPSC is aware of 77 entrapment incidents since January 2006, with about half resulting in injury. All but two of the incidents involved popular soft-sided flexible clogs and slides.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent escalator injuries:
-Make sure shoes are tied before getting on an escalator.
-Stand in the center of the step and be sure to step off of the escalator at the end of your ride.
-Always hold children's hands on escalators and do not permit children to sit or play on the steps.
-Do not bring children onto escalators in strollers, walkers, or carts.
-Always face forward and hold the handrail.
-Avoid the sides of steps where entrapment can occur.
-Learn where the emergency shutoff buttons are in case you need to stop the escalator.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.