A horrible Midtown elevator accident has caused New York City workers to think twice about using the elevator and to take the stairs instead.
According to news reports, an advertising executive stepped onto an elevator in her building when the elevator unexpectedly shot upward, crushing her between the elevator and the surrounding wall. Elevator inspectors are trying to determine whether electrical work performed on the elevator a few hours beforehand might have been connected to the incident. In most elevators, sensors will not permit the elevator car to move unless the doors are fully closed.
Obviously, the woman’s death is awful — but part of the horror comes from the fact that it involves a mundane everyday event somehow gone horribly wrong. Those of us who work in office buildings step onto elevators many times a day, without a second thought that there might be some mechanical failure that could be life-threatening to users. We routinely entrust our well-being to technology in the form of large machines that move us from point A to point B and, necessarily, to the human beings who service those machines. It’s unsettling to think that a single mistake by a mechanic could have such devastating consequences.
I always try to take the stairs at work, mostly because it seems like an easy way to get some exercise during the workday. Now I’ve got another reason.