Think the Elevator in Your Building is the Worst in New York City?

Maybe so, but can you brag that yours is one of the ten worst elevator offenders in New York City? If you want to know, go to the website of the New York City Buildings Department, you can find a list of ten of the top offenders who will be pursued under the Department’s Elevator Enforcement Program. The list is compiled using complaint data, violations, maintenance filings, and field inspection records. Many of these type of reports are available online and may serve as a gauge of the safety of a building and potential for liability for an unsafe condition … Read the rest

Should New York City Require Elevator Inspectors to Be Licensed?

Your first reaction may be, “You mean right now they’re not?!” Yet it’s true. But after three elevator accidents, two of them fatal, in six months, the City Council is considering licensing elevator mechanics for the first time. Council officials say most people do not realize the mechanics that fix the elevators are not licensed. The city’s building commissioner supports the licensing measure. The council is also considering a bill to require safety devices in some residential buildings to prevent elevators from skyrocketing to the ceiling.

New York is among just 14 states that do not require that elevator technicians … Read the rest

New York City Buildings Department Teaches Students How to Stay Safe While Riding the City’s 62,000 Elevators and Escalators

We’ve written several times about the NYC Buildings Department’s annual Construction Safety Week, including the citywide safety campaign to encourage construction workers to use proper fall protection. Another public education program run by the Buildings Department is National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week. The 8th annual program took place last month. Aimed at children, the program’s safety slogan is “Ring, Relax, Wait,” which reminds children to ring the elevator’s safety bell in an emergency and wait patiently for help instead of trying to pry the doors open. Many elevator accidents occur when passengers attempt to jump out of the elevator … Read the rest

National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week Starts Today

Over the past seven years, 109 children have been injured in elevator and escalator incidents in the City, including one fatal accident in 2008. In an effort to prevent injuries, since 2004, inspectors from the New York City Buildings Departments Elevators Unit have taught thousands of students how to safely ride the Citys 60,000 elevators and 2,200 escalators and what to do in the event of an emergency.

This week, inspectors will be providing critical safety tips to more than 2,300 first, second and third graders in 16 schools throughout the Citys five boroughs. For the first time since the … Read the rest

Bill Seeks to Improve Safety By Requiring Safety Device on New York City Housing Authority Elevators

Identical bills have been introduced in the New York State Senate (S04603) and Assembly (A8154) that would require the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to place door or zone restrictors on its nearly 3,340 elevators. The devices prevent people trapped inside stalled housing elevators from opening the cab doors by locking the cab door when an elevator is not aligned with a floor landing. The devices operate even when an elevator loses power because they do not rely on electricity.

The bills come on the heels of a class action lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the … Read the rest

Enough is Enough: Federal Suit Demands New York City Housing Authority Fix Its Elevators

A lawsuit was filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 21, 2009 to force the New York City Housing Authority to repair and maintain its more than 3,300 elevators. The lawsuit cites numerous occasions when NYCHA buildings are completely without elevator service. The lawsuit also describes instances when these buildings have only one working elevator, leaving residents waiting in long lines to use the functioning car. Other frequent malfunctions cited include elevator doors without sensors, elevators which fail to stop at particular floors, or which stop above or below floor level, making … Read the rest