Escalator Safety for Passengers

Before Entering Escalators - Be aware of the direction of the moving steps before stepping onto the escalator. If you use canes, walkers or wheeled vehicles, hold on to them firmly while on the escalator.

Be Aware of Your Clothing - Do not ride with clothing that touches the floor such as long dresses or untied shoelaces. Do not ride an escalator barefoot.

When Entering Escalators - Before entering, step on promptly. Hold packages or small children with one hand and grasp the handrail as you step quickly onto the moving steps.

When Riding Escalators - Keep aware of where you are and pay attention. Stand in the middle of the step and away from the sides. Stay in the forward position. Keep loose clothing clear of steps and sides. Keep a firm grip on the handrail. If you need to reposition your hand, slowly take your hand away and take a new grip. Be aware that if you have to find a new grip that you might have to reposition your feet. If you are carrying handbags, do not rest them on the handrail. Do not lean against the side.

When Exiting Escalators - Prepare yourself for exiting off the escalator before you are at the very bottom or top. Step off promptly and immediately move clear of the escalator exit area. Do not stop to talk or look around. Other passengers may be walking up from behind you.

Escalators Can Cause Injuries From Predictable Patterns

Sudden stopping, sudden acceleration, and irregular movement - Passengers depend on the smooth motion of the escalator stairs to maintain their balance. When the escalator stairs suddenly stop or start, or move in an irregular manner, this causes riders to lose their balance and possibly fall. This also increases their risk of injury due to sidewall or end plate entrapment.

Sidewall entrapment - Laws vary from state to state but most standards permit only a very narrow gap between the tread of the escalator stairs and the sidewalls of the escalator. When the gap exceeds allowable limits, there is a possibility that riders are subject to crushing injuries between the sidewall and the stair and cutting injuries against the sharp metal edges of the escalator.

End plate entrapment - At the top or bottom ends of an escalator are end plates under which the stairs pass. When people or objects become entrapped in the end plate, the escalator motor continues to pull them underneath the end plate.

The Following Safety Features Have Been Built Into all Escalators:

Metal teeth at the end of the escalator are intended to reduce the chance of end plate entrapment.

The handrail and the moving steps are designed to move at the same rate to help people keep their balance.

Handrails extend several feet into the entry to help passengers adjust to the correct speed before stepping on.

Brakes and a shutoff are automatically activated if the speed is too fast or too slow.

In the event of an emergency, push one of the Stop buttons located at the top or bottom landings of the escalator at the handrail or the floor level.