SINGAPORE: Between January and October 2023, a total of 632 escalator incidents were reported, with 97% (616 cases) attributed to user behaviour, according to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
In a press statement released on November 27, BCA said the vast majority of safety incidents occurring on escalators during the first 10 months of 2023 were a result of improper usage by individuals.
Less than 3% (16 cases) were due to mechanical faults, such as the handrail stopping while the escalator was still in operation, added BCA.
BCA further identified the top 5 causes responsible for 65% of all escalator incidents, including users carrying bulky items, improper movement or failure to hold the handrail, users’ physical conditions, lack of attention, and entrapment of shoes or body parts.
According to BCA, individuals grappling with bulky items like prams, luggage bags, and shopping trolleys were the primary cause of these incidents, constituting around 17% of the total cases.
It was noted that over half of the individuals involved in these incidents were aged 55 or older.
Additionally, the act of moving on the escalator or failing to hold the handrail constituted 16% of the reported cases.
BCA also highlighted that 12% of incidents were attributed to physical health conditions causing dizziness while riding the escalator.
Furthermore, 11% were linked to distractions, such as using mobile phones, and 9% involved instances of shoes or body parts getting trapped, particularly among young children.
BCA emphasized the necessity for targeted initiatives aimed at promoting awareness about safe escalator usage, considering Singapore’s extensive network of over 7,000 escalators.
“Given the high rate of incidents linked to user behaviour, we urge everyone to be more aware and careful while using escalators. ”
“We will continue to work closely with the community and our industry partners to raise safety awareness, in particular among the elderly and parents of young children,” said BCA group director for electrical and mechanical engineering Teo Orh Hai.
Encouraging individuals with heavy items or those with limited mobility or feeling unwell to opt for using lifts instead, the agency highlighted the importance of parental supervision and accompaniment for young children on escalators.
BCA announced initiatives in collaboration with Frasers Property Singapore (FPS), such as the introduction of removable magnetic bollards at escalator landings.
These bollards aim to discourage individuals from using escalators with bulky items while being easily removable in emergency situations.
Furthermore, in partnership with FPS and escalator manufacturer Schindler, BCA is organizing a workshop in December.
This workshop, scheduled for 2 December at Century Square Mall in Tampines, aims to educate children on the safe utilization of escalators.
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