You wouldn’t think injuries due to escalators, elevators or moving walkways would be all too common, but if your airport has at least five or more mechanical transports you are likely to experience at least one passenger injury per year according to a paper written by Cameron Nicolson for the Calgary Airport Authority.
The majority of these injuries are due to human error while only a small percentage are due to mechanical failure. This does not mean your maintenance organization is free from expensive litigation however.
The following are best practices for lowering the risk of injury on escalators, elevators, and moving walkways as well as the chances of your airport paying out in the case of a law suit.
1. Create preventive maintenance schedules for your mechanical transports
Due diligence will go a long way in court. Make sure your technicians or your contracted firm are thoroughly inspecting each escalator, elevator and moving walkway for deficient parts, proper lubrication, appropriate speed settings, cabling, lighting and safety mechanism operation. Utilizing a CMMS software package for work orders will allow you to show proof that maintenance was done regulary and according to standards.
2. Make sure safe transportation alternatives are available and operable
An air traveler shouldn’t be trying to use luggage carts or a child stroller on an escalator, but it happens. Having safer alternatives conveniently available will help sway these travelers to take an elevator, use an inclined walkway or ask for escort services to help.
3. Provide adequate signage and warnings
Make it impossible for injured air travelers to use the excuse, “There wasn’t any sign warning me!” Offer caution signs, warning travelers of potential hazards, Do’s and Dont’s as well as the location of safety shut-offs. Bright paint used to highlight moving mechanical areas will increase awareness and prevent small fingers and hair from being caught in those spaces.
4. Install and maintain proper surveillance equipment
Proving who is responsible for an injury is much easier when it’s captured on tape. Be sure to position cameras to focus on areas of high injury so it is easily determined whether a mishap is the fault of your airport facility or a negligent traveler.