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BCA attributes 97% of escalator incidents to “improper user behaviour”

From January to October 2023, 632 escalator incidents were reported, 97% due to user behavior, BCA stated.

BCA said mechanical faults accounted for less than 3%, including handrail stoppage during operation.



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.

Elderly couple injured in alleged Clementi MRT escalator malfunction as SMRT denies technical problems

In October, a troubling incident unfolded at Clementi MRT station, where three elderly commuters were injured in an alleged escalator malfunction.

At that moment, the escalator came to a sudden stop, and just as the 79-year-old male attempted to assist the fallen individual, the escalator unexpectedly reversed direction, resulting in injuries to the man, the elderly, and his 77-year-old spouse, who was positioned behind them.

The elderly woman reportedly suffered a dislocated elbow, a wrist fracture, and numb fingers, while his husband endured multiple scrapes and bruises on his body, along with a head wound.

In response to the incident, Lam Sheau Kai, President of SMRT Trains, responded to Lianhe Zaobao’s inquiry, assuring that the escalator maintenance contractor conducted a thorough investigation, which concluded that the escalator had no faults.

According to the findings, one individual lost his balance, resulting in a fall onto the two others behind them.

Prompt action was taken by staff who arrived swiftly to provide assistance and first aid while also notifying the Civil Defense Force.

“For the safety of our commuters, the escalator was immediately cordoned off for checks. This escalator is installed with a non-reversible device (NRD) and would have tripped if any reverse direction is detected.”

“The escalator was put back in service after it was determined that there were no technical issues.”

BCA: No escalator reversal detected

The Building and Construction Authority, which oversees safety regulations in public transportation areas, mandates that all escalators must be equipped with non-reversible devices.

These devices are designed to immediately halt escalator movement upon detecting any motion in the opposite direction.

In response to media inquiries, BCA confirmed that their engineers inspected the escalator involved in the incident, including the steps and handrails, and found no abnormalities.

Further, a review of the footage did not reveal any instances of the escalator moving backwards or any equipment malfunctions.

Additional observations indicated that other passengers using the same escalator had safely ascended.


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When Boss cannot get strong mandate, of course it is due to Voters being Free Riders. Likewise, of course escalator incidents are due to user behavior. This is called Justifying Failures in Management 101.

Dishonorable Boss will only beget dishonorable Employees. This is called Cascading Failures.

Another typical BLAME GAME – I think all should boycott escalators, use stairs or passenger, cargo lifts.

Extremistly speaking – all high buildings FLATTEN, REBUILD to cater for an Aged Population. Why Not.

doubts. for many years i saw that the maintenance cert in HDB flat’s lifts never change at all, even after the “expiry date” . it was only after many reported incidents of people being trapped in lifts, that HDB and town councils hired techs to check on the lifts. at the same time i also noticed they removed all those old certs with expiry dates. now no expiry date, the lifts are always ALL GOOD NO BAD! amirite? dun pofma me hor. u dun believe me. check in the old lift’s CCTV video if you buggers still have them.

Goodness am I seeing galaxy of stars? A Smart Nation of Smart Sheegaporeans and Smart Trash do NOT know how to use mechanical conveyors? Are users liars?

My concern is that will the ‘ improper use behaviour ‘ damage the escalater ?

Better sue them .