Mayor Bill de Blasio is battling Albany over proposed elevator safety legislation. According to a report in the New York Post, in an effort to prevent additional regulation, City Hall is opposing a measure that would have the state issue licenses to mechanics and others who oversee maintenance of 70,000 elevators in New York City’s high-rise buildings. The proposed measure would also require that elevator mechanics undergo extensive training before getting a license, which is already mandatory in some other states. In addition, the proposal would create a nine-member board appointed by the governor and other lawmakers to monitor issues related to elevator safety and prevent elevator accidents
New Regulation “Duplicative”
Supporters of the legislation point to recent tragedies including one case where a man was crushed to death last month when a packed elevator jolted in a Williamsburg building. In August, a mechanic was fatally injured when he fell down an elevator shaft at a construction site in Hell’s Kitchen. Advocates of the law say it is not acceptable to allow individuals without licensing or training to work on elevators. They say it is not about politics, but public safety.
But de Blasio administration officials are saying that a state law is not necessary because the city’s Department of Buildings already has strong elevator licensing regulations and oversight in place. They also point to data, which show elevator use has become safer in the city. Officials say there were 50 elevator accidents in 2014, most of which were minor. That number is down from 105 elevator accidents in 2007, which reflects a 52 percent decrease.
Under New York City’s rules, building owners are required to hire a Buildings Department-licensed “elevator agency director” with 10 years of experience. Elevator inspectors working under the director must also be licensed. Mayor de Blasio believes creating another layer of regulation through a state license issued by an agency that has no experience regulating the elevator industry would not amount to sound public policy.
The Need for Elevator Safety
There is no question that there is an urgent need for elevator safety in New York City in light of recent elevator accidents. Most elevator accidents can and should be prevented. A number of elevator accidents occur because property owners and/or property managers and/or elevator maintenance companies are not diligent when it comes to maintaining and repairing their elevators in a timely manner. When an elevator is not functioning correctly, property owners and/or property managers etc. have an obligation to put up signs that warn people to not use the elevator.
When an elevator is being repaired, signs must be posted as well. Workers who are hired or contracted to repair and maintain elevators must be properly licensed and trained.
One of the main causes of elevator malfunctions is poor maintenance. Many public and private buildings, shopping areas and schools fail to keep up-to-date maintenance records when it comes to their elevators. Poorly maintained elevators can result in malfunctions that may lead to abrupt stopping, falls, or misleveling – or when the elevator comes to a stop that is not level with the hallway floor.
Elevator accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and often, fatalities. Victims may suffer serious crushing injuries, amputations, broken bones, brain and spinal cord trauma. Some victims may become catastrophically injured or permanently disabled, unable to earn a livelihood and requiring round-the-clock care. When a person is injured or killed due to the negligence of a property owner and/or property manager, victims or survivors can file a premises liability claim seeking compensation for damages. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. The family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation as well.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York elevator accident, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. Our law firm did recover $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit our website: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
Source: New York Post
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