Tips for Parents
Many college and university residence halls are equipped with elevators. These elevators are sometimes misused by students oblivious to the safety concerns surrounding their operation. This past October, a residence hall elevator accident at Ohio State University resulted in the death of an 18-year-old student. This tragic situation occurred when the weight capacity of the elevator was exceeded and the car began to descend unexpectedly, reported Yahoo News (Oct. 24, 2006). The student was pinned while trying to climb out and died at the scene.
This accident serves as a strong reminder about elevator safety. You can utilize the following safety rules, compiled by the University of Arkansas, in conversation with your student:
- Don't overload an elevator. Check the elevator weight posted inside the car and step out if it's packed.
- Don't try to leave a moving elevator. The Ohio State student died when trying to escape.
- Don't try to force elevator doors open. This can cause an elevator to move.
- In an emergency, call for help. Use the emergency phone and then follow emergency personnel's instructions.
- In case of fire, do not use an elevator. It could lose power and trap you inside a burning building.
- Watch your step getting on and off an elevator. Make sure the car is level with the floor.
- Don't interfere with opening or closing doors. Let doors close.
Never reach your hand out to stop a closing door.
In today's day and age, we can never be too careful. If your student has concerns about a campus elevator, the resident director or public safety can help. Encourage your student to contact these staff members to report mechanical errors or misuse by fellow students during after-hour time periods.
Source: Mike Stiles, Occupational Safety Coordinator for the University of Arkansas Office of Environmental Health and Safety, as quoted at http://dailyheadlines.uark.edu/9627.htm, Nov. 13, 2006
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