97% of Escalator Incidents reported to BCA linked to Improper use of Escalator

Monday, 27 November 2023

-       BCA urges members of the public to use escalators safely

Singapore, 27 November 2023 – The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) received reports on 632 escalator incidents from January to October 2023, with a significant 97% (616 cases) attributed to user behaviour. Less than 3% (16 cases) were due to mechanical faults, such as the handrail stopping while the escalator was still in operation.

2.            The top 5 causes, which accounted for 65% of all escalator incidents, from January 2023 to October 2023 are:

a)    Users carrying bulky items: 17% of incidents occurred due to individuals struggling with large or heavy items including prams, luggage and shopping trolleys on escalators.

b)    Moving on escalator or not holding the handrail: 16% of incidents were caused by users either moving on the escalator or not holding onto the handrail.

c)    Users’ physical conditions: 12% of incidents were attributed to the user’s physical health conditions, e.g., riding the escalator when feeling unwell or dizzy.

d)    Lack of attention: 11% of incidents were a result of users being distracted, including the use of mobile phones while using escalators.

e)    Entrapment of shoes or body parts: 9% of the incidents were due to shoes or body parts getting trapped in the escalator steps, particularly among young children.

3.            Relating to the top cause of escalator incidents arising from carrying of bulky items, more than half of these incidents involved users aged 55 and above. This data underscores the need for more targeted initiatives to discourage individuals with bulky items from using escalators for their personal safety,

4.            "Making escalators safe for all users is a shared responsibility," said Mr. Teo Orh Hai, BCA’s Group Director for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Group. "Given the high rate of incidents linked to user behaviour, we urge everyone to be more aware and careful while using escalators. We will continue to work closely with the community and our industry partners to raise safety awareness, in particular among the elderly and parents of young children, as every user's conscious effort is key to ensuring their own safety and that of others around them."

5.            To enhance user safety, BCA has been working with the industry to implement safety solutions and raise public awareness on safe use of escalators. These efforts include:

·         Piloting the use of magnetic bollards with Frasers Property Singapore, to discourage users from riding the escalator with bulky items, especially prams and strollers. These magnetic bollards can be placed closer to escalator landings and are easy to install, adding to their flexibility in real-life applications. They can also be removed in case of emergencies.

·         Jointly supporting an escalator safety workshop with Frasers Property Singapore, organised by escalator manufacturer Schindler. This workshop, scheduled for 2 December 2023 at Century Square, is specifically designed to educate young children about safe practices on escalators. For more information, please refer here.

6.         With over 7,000 escalators across Singapore, it is crucial for individuals to use them responsibly, especially during high-traffic times like the upcoming festive season. Following simple escalator safety tips can prevent most escalator incidents:

Tips for Safe Use of Escalators

·         Hold on to the handrail and stand within the yellow lines on the escalator steps.

·         Be mindful when using escalators and avoid being distracted by mobile devices. 

·         Young children should always be accompanied and closely supervised by adults when on the escalator; make sure that they do not play or run on the escalator, or lean over the handrail.

·         Do not linger at the landing areas and obstruct other users.

·         Avoid leaning or standing too near to the sides of the escalators as clothing or soft footwear may get trapped between the gaps of the escalators.

·         Users with trolleys, prams, luggage, carrying heavy items, who have limited mobility, are intoxicated or feeling unwell, should use the lifts instead.

·         In the event of an escalator incident, the public is advised to press the emergency stop button and call for assistance immediately.

More information can be found on BCA’s website: https://www1.bca.gov.sg/public/safety-resources/lift-and-escalator-safety

7.            If members of the public come across problems with an escalator, they can contact the building owner or building managing agent. As an escalator owner, the building owner or managing agent must ensure that:

a)      The escalator is always maintained in proper working condition.

b)      Regular maintenance, examinations, inspections, and tests are conducted on the escalator, as required by the Regulations.

c)      The escalator is immediately shut down if there is any risk of it being dangerous or causing injury to users.

d)      Any incidents involving injuries or critical failures in the escalator's safety equipment are promptly reported to BCA.

Issued by the Building and Construction Authority on 27 November 2023

Download the PDF version of the Media Release here

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