As millions of Americans receive their economic stimulus checks, many will be heading to the mall to get that special item they’ve been eyeing all spring. Plenty of consumer news sources will advise you to use this money from the IRS wisely. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission is concerned with a different aspect of your trip to the mall: your physical safety on, of all things, the escalator, where 11,000 people are injured each year.
The CPSC recently issued a safety announcement advising people of some simple but often overlooked protocol for proper use of escalators. Up to 90% of escalator injuries occur because of falls, which means that simply standing still, not leaning, and not moving makes your ride much safer.
But many of the remaining injuries result from entrapment, says the CPSC. The popular “Croc” shoe has gotten much attention because the soft sides are easily caught in the sides of escalator steps. Other than wearing appropriate (and tied) shoes and standing still, the CPSC advises:
- facing forward in the middle of the step
- using the handrail
- making sure to step off at the end
- holding children’s hands
- using elevators for strollers, walkers and carts
- being cognizant of emergency shutoff buttons
To read the CPSC’s full recommendations, read “Know the Steps to Safety When Using Escalators”.