According to WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta, a sprinkler technician was injured around 10 a.m., Thursday, February 21, 2013, when a ladder he was carrying became wedged in an escalator, creating a gap wide enough for his foot to enter and become entrapped. The man and a partner were transporting the ladder from the P2 level to the P3 level when the ladder became wedged between two of the steps, creating a gap between the step and the skirt panel. The victim’s foot was entrapped in the escalator’s skirt for approximately one hour, until fire fighters responded and used heavy equipment and a “cribbing” technique to provide a gap wide enough to allow the man’s foot to be pulled back out. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital. Read the fully story by WSB-TV2, published February 21, 2013.
Although newer escalators are equipped with numerous safety devices that are intended to prevent the escalator from continuing to run when an object jams the steps or skirt panels, public records indicate that the shopping center, Phipps PLaza, a Simon property, was built in 1969, which suggests that the escalator may have only been required to comply with a 1960s edition of the ASME A17.1, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. This also incident highlights the dangers of using escalators to transport materials. When riding an escalator, always pay careful attention for untied shoe laces, loose fitting clothing, and especially rubber “Crocs” type sandals, as these can all become entrapped between steps, leading to escalator accidents similar to these.