The ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators establishes safe practices in the design, construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, and maintenance of elevators. This Code continues to be updated with new regulations to improve safety for elevator riders. The estimated number of elevators in service in the U.S. is approximately 1.1 million.1 Two of the most common injuries for elevator riders are associated with unexpected door closures and trips and falls when entering or leaving an elevator. A recent study reported that door-related incidents accounted for 40% of the total elevator related injuries [1]. This same study reported that another 40% of the total injuries were associated with trips and falls caused by elevator cars that were not level with the landing. These two hazards result in approximately 80% of the elevator-related injuries occurring at the entrance of the elevator. Other recent studies have concluded that older adults [2] and young children [3] are particularly impacted by these elevator-related hazards.

This paper will focus on identifying and analyzing the hazards associated with elevator door closures. In this study, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reviewed from 1990 to 2017 to better understand the trends associated with door strikes, the affected body part and the age of those involved in the incidents. This study also explores and discusses the safety mechanisms currently available to address these hazards. An examination of updates to the ASME A17.1 Code along with improvements in door reopening technologies will be presented to guide the discussion.

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