What Are The New Elevator Safety Laws in NY?
New York City has tens of thousands of elevators, but the laws to protect people from elevator accidents are very weak. This is bound to change with the new Elevator Safety Act that went into effect in January 2022.
Elevator accidents can be immensely dangerous and are usually fatal. To help ease public worry over old and faulty elevators, Gov. Andre Cuomo signed the Elevator Safety Act into law in January 2020. The law aims to strengthen the safety standards for installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators in New York.
What is The New York Elevator Safety Act?
The Elevator Safety Act mandates all workers that design, inspect, construct, repair, maintain, and inspect elevators to be licensed by the state. The state will grant three specific licenses based on the worker’s position. These licenses are for elevator inspectors, elevator mechanics, and elevator contractors.
Under the Act, the New York Department of Buildings (DOB) must also maintain a registry of licensed elevators inspectors, contractors, and mechanics. In addition to this public registry, the law ordered the creation of the NY State Elevators Safety and Standards Advisory Board tasked to help set more effective elevator safety standards.
This new law followed the horrific death of a man who was crushed in an elevator accident in Manhattan last August 2019.
Man Crushed By Elevator in a Manhattan Building
When 30-year-old Samuel Waisbren tried to exit the elevator in a luxury Manhattan apartment building on August 22, 2019, the elevator suddenly malfunctioned and dropped, crushing the victim to death between the lift car and wall. Before getting crushed and plummeting to his untimely death, Waisbren was riding the lift with six other persons who all got out of the lift without any issues.
The last person, Tyler Hartsfield, who is still traumatized by the freak accident, just walked off the elevator mere minutes before it killed Waisbren. He witnessed the entire accident. Waisbren’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s owners.
According to tenants, some elevators in the building were malfunctioning for some time – well before Waisbren’s death. Multiple tenants have made complaints about various elevator defects, including elevator doors that don’t fully close or open and lift cars that wobble and stop midway between floors. Reportedly, the property owners failed to resolve these issues.
In addition, the DOB found that one of the elevators in the building had a safety device that was tampered with and rendered inoperative. The DOB ordered the property owners to halt the elevator’s operation until they could fix it. The owners also paid a fine for violation. It is also vital to note that before Waisbren’s tragic death, he had complained about issues with the building’s elevators.
Get In Touch With The Top NYC Personal Injury Lawyers Now
If you or a loved one was injured in an elevator accident in New York, contact the law firm of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C., right away. To arrange your free case review with our NYC personal injury lawyer, contact us online or call 212-285-3300.