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U.S. CPSC Investigates Home Elevator Accidents

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this week issued a statement announcing that it has “an active and ongoing compliance investigation regarding the safety of residential elevators and the entrapment hazard they can present.”

In March 2013, partners Andy Cash and Dave Krugler travelled to Washington, DC to present the CPSC with data, research and expert reports detailing the defects in home elevators and outlining the simple design solutions. After working with the Helvey family on the tragic elevator accident that caused severe brain damage to their then-3-year-old son Jacob, we wanted to make sure these needless deaths and injuries never affect another family.

The elevator industry and its regulating body, ASME, have known about the entrapment hazard in residential elevators for decades. Despite their knowledge of children being seriously injured and killed, they have refused to take action to eliminate the hazard. There are simple design solutions that must be implemented both going forward and retroactively to prevent future injuries and deaths.

Our hope in meeting with the CPSC in March was for immediate action, including an industry-wide recall. SafetyResearch.net published its second article on the investigation, including our response to the CPSC’s statement, included in part below. The first article, “The Design Hazard That’s Been Killing Children for Decades,” appeared in July.

We are encouraged the CPSC has commenced its own investigation into these issues and hope that quick action will take place. The residential elevator industry has demonstrated for decades that it will not eliminate the entrapment hazard unless it is forced to do so. The CPSC has the power and responsibility to ensure that happens as soon as possible.

— Andrew Cash, David Krugler, Alwyn Fredericks

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