A 44-year-old elevator repairman is dead after being dragged upward through an elevator shaft in a luxury high-rise condominium building in Guttenberg, New Jersey. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release Tuesday, February 2, explaining that the worker was performing routine monthly maintenance when something went tragically wrong. The worker, a resident of New Windsor, New York, somehow became caught between the elevator door and the top of the elevator car as the car ascended.
According to NJ.com, a spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said OSHA is investigating, and the worker’s employer, Slade Elevator, Inc., does not have a history of OSHA violations. One resident stated that the elevators were new equipment and there had been no history of mechanical problems.
Fatal elevator accidents are exceedingly rare, but it is estimated that half happen to professionals who install or maintain the devices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, six elevator installers/repairers died in 2014, three of those from events categorized as “falls, slips, trips.” The Guttenberg accident was originally reported as a fall down the shaft, but the prosecutor’s statement corrected the error.
It is impossible to know at this time whether a mechanical defect or an error by the repairman caused the accident. However, when passengers are injured in elevator accidents, it is almost always due to a mechanical defect, a design defect or faulty maintenance. If you want to learn about your rights after a serious elevator accident, call [ln::firm_name] at [ln::phone] or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation.