Two recent incidents in New York City involving workers injured and trapped in elevators have renewed calls by unions for stricter elevator safety standards.

Difficult rescues

News reports say an elevator mechanic was crushed after being pinned under an elevator in the basement shaft of a building in Manhattan. Rescue crews had to use a hoist on a ladder to raise the elevator up and extract the worker, who was transported to a local hospital with what were described as life-threatening injuries.

In the second incident – which occurred on the same day – four workers suffered minor injuries and were trapped when an elevator they were riding in came to a sudden stop.

The FDNY had to use a pulley system to rescue each worker individually.

Three of the workers were contractors and one is a Con Ed employee.

The Elevator Safety Act

Pointing out the need to improve elevator safety for both workers and passengers, the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1 is urging the state legislature to pass the Elevator Safety Act, which would set minimum educational and training standards for elevator mechanics and create an elevator contractor’s license and establish an elevator safety and standards board.