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The important safety lesson you can learn from yesterday's elevator tragedy

by , 02 September 2014
It's a tale that'll make your stomach turn.

According to the news, a 20 year old man was killed in Durban yesterday when the doors of a goods elevator crushed him.

It's tragic accident. And it happens more often than you think.

In fact, according to the Independent Lift Inspector Association of South Africa (Iliasa), outdated elevators have caused elevator accidents to treble in the past 30 years.

But what can you do about it?

Why an elevator toolbox talk could be just what you need to keep your employees safe

Elevators may be a great form of transport, but that doesn't mean they don't come without risks. 
From squishing your fingers in the doors to tripping, being stuck and even falling down the shaft, there are a myriad of associated risks you need to warn your workers about. 
And the best way to do that, is to conduct a toolbox talk on elevator safety
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Here's what to include when discussing this topic during a toolbox talk

After outlining the risks – falling, squishing, tripping, etc. – that elevator riding exposes your employees too, give them these smart tips.
Tell your employees to:
  • Stand clear of the elevator door as it's closing.  Door sensors aren't always completely reliable and you don't want your employees' bodies or fingers to be squished because of this. 
  • Always enter and exit the elevator at designated floor alignments. Trying to exit when the elevator is improperly aligned exposes your employee to the open elevator shaft and could cause them to trip and fall to their death.
  • Notify your safety officials immediately if an elevator door opens up to an exposed elevator shaft. Tell them not to approach the open shaft or attempt to climb through it.
  • Never try to leave an elevator that hasn't stopped normally. This includes an elevator that's stopped between floors or fallen several flights.  
  • Check that none of the passengers on board appear dangerous before getting into the lift. It's silly to take unnecessary risks when the stairs are always a viable alternative.
  • Never to push the people in front of you while exiting or entering the elevator. 
There you have it. While it may sound silly to conduct a safety meeting about riding elevators, consider the number of accidents you could prevent and it'll make perfect sense. 

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