Now that summer is over, I was hoping that new stories about elevator safety issues would start slowing down. You know what I’m talking about – breakdowns in Washington, D.C. and constantly slow / broken elevators in Manhattan subway stations. When it comes to elevator safety, these issues are paramount, especially when considering people who cannot use stairs due to injury or disability. However much I wished there wasn’t another story about these issues, it seems that Iowa discovered a trove of backlogged elevator inspections.
The amount of backlogged inspections – revealed in a story from RadioIowa – is pretty damning of authorities in the state:
“… there were nearly 10,000 elevators and escalators in Iowa which are, by law, to be inspected every year. Auditors randomly chose 100 elevators and found 68 hadn’t been inspected in the past year. One…elevator — at Sparboe Foods in Hampton — hadn’t been inspected for nearly nine years. An elevator in a Waterloo parking garage hadn’t been inspected for nearly three years, according to the audit.”
The article says that the number of state elevator inspectors is currently being added to, primarily to ensure that every elevator gets inspected at least once a year. The current State Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro in Iowa said in the story that there are also private companies hired by the state to aid in these efforts as well:
“We have elevator inspectors located across the state,” Mauro says. “And we also use private companies who are attempting to inspect all the elevators on a yearly basis and that’s our goal and we’re moving toward that goal.”
The current plan for the commissioner is to make sure that the backlog of inspections is completed by the end of the year. No matter if that actually occurs, it is still crucial that you insist that elevators you use by inspected by proper officials. Elevator safety is a serious concern and if more states keep having issues like this, there may be a need for sweeping overhauls.