Escalator Accidents: Mishaps in Department Stores, Airports and Office Buildings


An escalator malfunctions at Macy’s when steps fail to engage. An escalator at a subway station becomes the scene of a horrific accident. A child’s foot is caught between the stairs. Escalators are “modes” of transportation we use daily at our favorite department stores, airports and our office buildings. With a slow-moving pace, it is hard to imagine something going wrong that cannot be corrected. But, as in the cases above, escalator accidents can cause broken limbs, head injuries, severe lacerations and sometimes death.

A high percentage of escalator injuries result from falls, particularly among children who are playing and end up tumbling down the steps, or elders who lose their footing. Children and those wearing loose shoes are especially susceptible when parts of the shoe become caught in between the steps of the escalator, or between the steps and the side of the escalator wall. Accidents like these lead to mangled feet, amputated digits and raw skin.

Believe it or not, there are some safety rules when it comes to riding an escalator, rules that we often ignore while our hands are full with department stores purchases, or while trying to maneuver luggage as we make our way to the gate of our flights. As elementary as they may seem, here are some rules to keep in mind:

  • Never put stroller on an escalator. Always collapse the stroller and try to find alternative modes of transportation to the next level of the building.
  • Be wary if your load is too heavy to lift onto the escalator, such as may happen with a large piece of luggage or a newly purchased item. Enlist help and look for stairs or an elevator when you have heavy loads.
  • Keep your feet on one step at a time.
  • Make sure you hold the hands of small children and instruct them not to jump from one step to the next. (This goes for adults, too.)
  • Don’t ride an escalator backwards, or allow your children to do so.
  • Make sure you step over the “threshold” at the end of the escalator, so that clothing and shoes aren’t caught.

If you were at a location and were injured because of an escalator malfunction, you will want to talk with an attorney who is practiced in premises liability cases. If you are in New York, you can seek the advice of a law firm who specializes in this area.

We would never want to you to stop shopping or enjoying the activities you like to do best. We just want you to be safe while doing so.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.