Due to a fatal elevator accident at Ohio State University in October 2006 and a close call at the University of Arkansas this past summer, John Brown University is initiating an Elevator Safety Policy. Elevator accidents can be prevented if passengers will follow these basic elevator safety rules.

Rule No. 1: Don’t overload an elevator.

Both serious accidents at the University of Arkansas and Ohio State were the result of overloading elevator cars.

The weight load of each elevator is clearly posted inside the cab. Elevators should never be overloaded. Students, faculty and staff should always be aware of potential overloading. They should step out if they find themselves in a tightly packed elevator.

Rule No. 2: Don’t try to leave a moving elevator.

In both of the serious accidents mentioned above, a student attempted to get out of the elevator while it was moving slowly downward.

Rule No. 3: Don’t try to force elevator doors open.

Attempting to force the elevator doors to open can cause injury. This was another factor in both of the recent accidents.

Rule No. 4: In an emergency, call for help.

Every elevator is equipped with an emergency phone. If you find yourself stranded in an elevator, use that phone to call for help. All elevator emergency phones on campus are answered by an elevator monitoring company dispatcher who will immediately contact a campus safety officer and will dispatch them to the scene for assistance. Follow only the instructions from elevator dispatch personnel, campus safety or fireman in an emergency situation. Never try to climb out of a stranded elevator.

Rule No. 5: In case of fire, do not use an elevator.

A fire alarm will disconnect power from the elevator.

Rule No. 6: Watch your step getting on and off an elevator.

Make sure the elevator car is level with the floor. The most common elevator related injuries are caused by tripping when entering or leaving an elevator or being hit by closing doors. Following a few common sense tips can prevent these injuries.

Rule No. 7: Don’t interfere with opening or closing doors.

If the doors are closing, let them. Never reach your hand out to stop a closing door. Wait for the next elevator.

John Brown University has 11 elevators on campus, a number that will grow as new buildings and renovations are completed. Campus elevators are inspected semi-annually and tested annually to ensure that they are working safely.

To promote elevator safety, campus safety is posting information at each campus elevator, and in the existing safety manual.

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