Friday, February 11, 2005

Just Observing

Just Observing

Down at the conv ctr are some of the tallest escalators around. Of course everybody has ridden escalators many many times in every kind of place--airports, department stores, whatever. I've seen young adults, male and female, running up and down them, skipping steps, little kids trying to climb the steps, people with dogs, people crowding two or more on one step, guys with baggy trousers, women with long skirts, etc. And none of them seemed aware that they are riding one very dangerous piece of machinery.

Along the sides, about an inch or so from the bottom, there's a row of brushes. Guys have been known to polish their shoes against them as they ride up or down. What they don't know is that the machinery just behind that row of brushes can grab that loose shoestring and quite literally tear their foot off from their ankle. A long-haired young woman leaned down to pick up something she'd dropped. Her hair got grabbed and she lost a large piece of her scalp. Little kids have fallen on those steps and lost their fingers when they fell. If you want to have your hair stood straight up, just Google "escalator accidents".

So here's the way you ride one. One person per step. Stand in the middle of the step. Hold that handrail with both hands if possible, but at least case of a sudden stop. Keep any part of yourself or clothing or bags or packages away from the sides. Do not ride with shots untied. Don't lean over the rail to look down on the floor below or you chance losing your head as the escalator going up rides close to the wall above, forming a very solid V shape. Hold onto children's hands at all times. Don't walk up or down those steps when the escalator is stopped unless directed to do so. Just remember that escalator can weigh up to 60,000 pounds and it is a machine with moving parts....and a machine can fail at any moment.

Okay? Okay. Stay safe.


Cate said...

I am surprised that more isn't published on how escalators work. I didn't have a clue. My grandson has perpetually untied shoelaces, which I wouldn't have thought about putting him into harm's way. We do, occasionally, visit the city and use the escalator, so I will tell him about the escalator having teeth to gobble him up--just kidding. I will tell him about the mechanics, just as you told us. Someone needs to write a children's book (in a not too scary way) about things they need to be aware of--sort of like a survival manual for kids, and escalators need to be included.

Watch 'n Wait said...

Egad, Cate! Yes, do have him tie his shoelaces. I've been meaning to say something about how dangerous escalators are. Glad I finally did. They're as familiar as stairways and folks just never think about what they actually are. That's a good idea for a children's book. A picture book would be great, cause the kids remember those and the sooner their precautions get to be a habit, the better.