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Escalator Falls (2020)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Escalator Falls. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25899.
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28 Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls This chapter introduces the effective practices needed to manage escalator falls that are identified in the literature review and survey and analysis of incident data. Effective practices range from relatively low-cost signage improvements, escalator speed reduction, and imple- mentation of remote baggage check-in to major terminal remodels. Airports were selected for use as examples based on the availability of information illustrating effective practices. The chapter contains the following sections: incident data, managing human behavior, esca- lator configuration, escalator operations, escalator signage, terminal wayfinding signage, and terminal design. Incident Data Incident data from airports and in the survey were consistent with data reported in the litera- ture. In general, older female passengers were more likely to fall than any other demographic group. Baggage was a contributor in most of the falls. Falls on the “up” escalator tended to be more severe and involved passengers falling backwards down the escalator. Incident data also mentioned passengers who felt lightheaded or dizzy prior to the fall. Managing Human Behavior The review of the literature, incident data, and survey results consistently show that human behavior is the major factor in almost all escalator incidents. Passengers do not follow the infor- mation on placards and signage at the entrance to escalators. Escalator Environment Escalator entrances and exits need to be protected from encroachment by signs and other items that may block passenger movement. In addition, safety elements that discourage play, sliding, or wrong-way travel should be included. Human Behavior Figure 4-1 shows a person with a large bag boarding the escalator and two other people rid- ing without holding on to the handrails. These common passenger behaviors are among those that increase the risk of an incident. Other common risk-increasing behaviors include talking on a mobile device on an escalator, not facing forward, and not holding onto the handrail. Inci- dent data points to these as causal factors in escalator incidents, but there are no active signage or public safety programs discouraging people from talking on a mobile device while riding escalators. Discouraging passengers from engaging in these behaviors could reduce the risk of incidents. C H A P T E R 4

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 29 Entrapment Prevention In addition to slip and fall prevention, airports need to increase public awareness of entrap- ment. Many examples from around the world of public service videos illustrate the dangers of entrapment; most of the examples focus on public transportation and shopping malls. Incident data show that entrapment incidents often include small children getting feet and hands caught between the moving parts of escalators. The updated escalator standards in ASME A17.1-2016 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators include provisions for yellow or white delineators at the edge of steps and brushes that discourage contact with the moving parts. Figure 4-2 shows the painted step markings and the covered brush at the edge of the step. There is also a green light indicating the direction of the escalator. Passengers wearing soft-soled shoes or things such as loose clothing, shoelaces, and straps from luggage or handbags that dangle may be at increased risk of entrapment or injury, even when they are not standing near moving parts. Education efforts should teach the public about these dangers. Soft-soled shoes such as flip-flops, Crocs™, and some types of rain boots are at particular risk of being caught on escalators. One risk management professional indicated that this type of footwear should not be available for purchase in airport terminals. All of the items—soft-soled footwear, loose clothing, straps, and shoelaces—can be caught in the moving parts of escalators, often with severe incident results. Other Incident Prevention Strategies Other incident prevention strategies include discouraging passengers from lingering in the areas around escalators and between parallel escalators. Incident reports indicated that many injury incidents result from children playing near and on escalators. Placing medallions or other obstacles on the slope between parallel escalators can reduce sliding incidents. Figure 4-3 shows the medallions used to discourage people sliding down the slope between the escalators. This photo also shows the worn-out delineation at the bottom of the escalator. Figure 4-1. People displaying distracted escalator behaviors.

30 Escalator Falls Figure 4-2. Clear orange markings and brushes on the edge of the step, Singapore Airport (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman). Figure 4-3. Medallion used to discourage sliding between escalators (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 31 Crowd Management Crowd management at the entrance and exit to escalators is both a design and operational issue. Airports must provide sufficient space to manage surges in passenger flows and to permit an orderly transition on and off the escalator. Clear space at escalator exits is particularly important so passengers can move out of the escalator egress area. Some airports use staff or volunteers to help manage crowds and assist with clearing space at the exit to the escalator, and they can also provide wayfinding information to the elevator. Crowd management also includes signage or guidance to the nearest elevators for passengers with limited mobility, luggage carts, strollers, or small children. Training Volunteers to Help Guide Passengers Most of the airports that responded to the survey indicated that there are volunteers or ambassadors who assist passengers. Volunteers and ambassadors are trained to direct passen- gers to the nearest elevator. Several airports reported that passengers often ignore suggestions by staff or volunteers to use the elevators. In addition, ambassadors and volunteers can assist airport staff with passenger flow to manage overcrowding and congestion at escalator transition areas. Service and Comfort Animals Veterinarians and other animal protection organizations recommend that service and comfort animals use the stairs or take elevators. Escalators present a high danger for paws or long fur that can be caught in moving parts. Baggage Fees Airport professionals have noticed that more passengers are carrying baggage through the terminal. To date, there are no data other than anecdotal observations. The hypotheses are that passengers are carrying more baggage through the airport and onto the aircraft to avoid paying baggage fees. Air carriers are inconsistent in enforcing both the number and size of carry-on bags. Air carriers operating small aircraft with limited overhead space enforce the size of carry-on baggage more aggressively than carriers operating less space-constrained aircraft. Other carriers provide free gate checking of baggage. Further research could investi- gate the impact of baggage fees on baggage-related incidents throughout the terminal. Wayfinding Signage Wayfinding refers to the information systems that guide people through an environment. Airports can be complex environments to navigate that necessitate wayfinding systems. ACRP Report 177: Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for Aging Travelers and Persons with Disabilities provided guidelines to assist aging travelers and persons with disabilities in traveling inde- pendently within airports using pedestrian wayfinding systems. The guidebook also addresses the specific wayfinding needs of people with cognitive and sensory impairments, as well as those with other mobility challenges. The objective of wayfinding systems around escalators is to direct people who should not ride the escalator to the nearest elevator. The challenge of designing these wayfinding systems includes both the physical format and location for components of the system. Locating infor- mative placards near escalators may also affect passenger circulation at entrances and exits. Freestanding signs and placards tend to move or disappear, while overhead signage may not be visible to all passengers—particularly those travelling in wheelchairs.

32 Escalator Falls Audio Messaging Audio messaging is more common on moving walkways than escalators. Audio messages can be provided through speakers located on the escalator and encourage passengers to face forward, hold handrails, and stand in the center of the step. However, airports have a high level of ambient background noise, so audio messages need to be calibrated to account for ambient noise levels. Some respondents to the survey indicated that audio messaging on the escalator was not used because of background noise. Outreach The research, literature, and surveys indicate that the majority of escalator incidents result from improper human behavior. Educational resources to remedy this include materials prepared by the EESF. The EESF is the leading resource for educational programs that teach children and adults how to ride elevators, escalators, and moving walkways safely. Transit agencies around the world have produced videos to promote escalator safety. The challenge in conducting outreach is to identify and reach the target audience. Public Service Announcements Transit agencies across the world have invested in public service programs to increase passen- gers’ awareness of escalator safety. The following link is a video from Perth, Australia, designed to increase awareness of escalator safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X6A6l6m52s In Ontario, Canada, the TSSA released escalator safety videos as part of the National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week in 2016. Children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1infUBT9fE Good manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glgHyOmFg-U Loose clothing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-JjUjP3I_0 Stroller safety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vRFDe_-LUE At Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA), a short video describes escalator safety. In the past, the airport played announcements discussing escalator safety four times an hour. The announce- ments included messages that asked passengers not to bring strollers or pets on the escalators, and to face forward while riding. However, none specifically warned against bringing wheeled baggage on the escalators (Santos 2014). The following is a link for the Sea-Tac safety video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZixvOH3Eew Training Risk management personnel have indicated a need for further training of airport staff and volunteers who work near escalators. Specifically, the training should focus on overall escalator safety, rapid response when incidents occur, and proper format and structure for information in incident reports. Escalator Configuration The updated ASME Escalator Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators and the APTA guidelines for escalators include design improvements addressing escalator safety. Key areas include step design, edge markings, and speed reduction. Other improvements include wider

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 33 steps for passengers carrying baggage, expanding flat space at escalator entrances and exits, and reducing operating speeds. Wider steps are important for airport applications where a large portion of passengers have some sort of baggage. The reduction in maximum speed from 125 fpm to 100 fpm should improve safety—new procurement guidelines recommend speeds between 80 and 90 fpm. Finally, adding three flat steps at both the escalator entrance and exit should ease the transitions on and off escalators. Only two airports responding to the survey mentioned having escalators with three flat steps, in both cases on newer escalators. Figure 4-4 shows a newer escalator with three flat steps at the exit. Physical Barriers Survey results from non-U.S. airports mentioned the use of bollards and other physical barriers at escalator entrances to prevent baggage carts and other devices from accessing the escalators. Many of the U.S. airports indicated that they would like to be able to install bollards and physical barriers, but their state escalator regulations do not permit obstruc- tions. Figure 4-5 shows bollards in use at Charles de Gaulle Airport. The picture also shows large arrows that indicate the direction of the escalator. Maintenance In the review of literature and the airport surveys, the condition and maintenance of the escalators was not cited as contributing to escalator incidents. Survey data show that most airports have routine escalator maintenance programs. All airports indicated that they contract out escalator maintenance. Contractors may be on call or, at some larger airports, on-site escalator maintenance. It was suggested that on-site escalator maintenance should be scheduled during late night or early morning hours when the demand is lowest. The effective- ness of different escalator preventative-maintenance programs was identified as an open issue that requires additional investigation. Figure 4-4. Three flat steps at escalator exit.

34 Escalator Falls Escalator Operations The two most effective escalator operations practices are signage and escalator speed. Survey respondents indicated the importance of routine escalator maintenance programs, installing high-quality escalators designed for 24-hour operations, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, with load factors adequately accounting for heavy passenger loads and baggage. Other considerations include the operating direction of the escalator. It is common for MTH to reverse the direction of escalators on a monthly basis to reduce wear and tear on the escalator mechanical system. One airport undertook a passenger behavior and passenger flow study to identify passenger congestion and locations of intermixing passenger flows. By study- ing the passenger flows, bottlenecks and intermixing of the flows can be avoided to improve escalator safety. Escalator Speed Escalator travel speed affects the rate of passenger incidents on escalators. Recent revisions to the ASME escalator standards reduce the maximum speed from 125 fpm to 100 fpm. Esca- lator speed does not affect escalator capacity but does affect passenger travel time. Airports in Eugene, Oregon, and Sarasota, Florida, have indicated that their escalators operate at speeds below 100 fpm. In the procurement documents for the new escalators installed 3 years ago, the City of Eugene, the airport operator, specified an operating speed of 90 fpm. Slower escalator speeds ease transitions on and off escalators for all passengers. Sarasota Bradenton International Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) special-ordered and -designed escalators to accommodate the 80-fpm travel speed. The speed of the escalator was discussed among airport staff as a possible means of reducing falls on the escalators. Because of the discussion, the lower speed was written into the design and bid specifications. Records noted that there was reluc- tance on the part of the escalator companies to reduce the speed. The bidding companies thought that the reduced speed would not make a difference or could even increase the hazard. Figure 4-5. Bollards at escalator entrance and exit at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) (Courtesy of Yannis Benzoubair).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 35 The airport made their decision to reduce speed based upon their observations of how passengers interact with the escalators and on the average age of the passengers—the airport’s market largely consists of retirees and older passengers. Despite signs discouraging the behavior, passengers would still try to carry their sometimes heavy and awkward bags on the escalator, even dragging the heavy bags up the escalator behind them. Both these situations led to off-balance situations and often to falls—typically straight over backwards. The airport staff believed that the previous (faster) speed of the escalator and the passenger demographics were contributing to the observed falls. These observations are consistent with the cited literature and other studies indicating a reduction in motor skills and balance with age. Since the installation of the new escalators, the airport has observed fewer falls. This is, however, purely anecdotal, since the actual number or severity of falls have not been officially tracked. Since the installation of the slower-speed escalators, the airport passenger counts have increased by 40% to 50% monthly. The airport statistics show that the annual passenger count recently reached nearly 2,000,000 passengers. The non-traveling public, as well as airport staff— including airline and airport authority and many other vendors—also use the escalators. This could easily double the number of annual escalator users. In 2019, camera recordings indicated that there were less than a dozen falls on the escalators, and there have been no reported serious injuries. Those falls that were observed, typically by camera, were explainable. In general, the person was trying to carry too much and had limited physical ability. The slower travel speed has not hindered passengers from moving through the building in any observable way. The airport is of medium size and of a design and scale that does not require a high-speed transport system of any kind. The airport and all gates are completely walkable (T. Ressler, e-mail correspondence, February 3, 2020). Escalator Signage Signage on and near the escalator entrance is inconsistent and is often affected by local and state regulations. Complex escalator signage violates basic signage principles that encourage the use of icons and symbols rather than words, and no more than three lines of information. The informational content may be iconic or textual. The text should use mixed capitalization rather than all capitalization for improved legibility and readability. It is particularly important to use symbols and icons in international airport terminals. Escalator signage from selected U.S. and Canadian airports are illustrated below. Airport escalator-safety signage design and placement is an open issue because of regulation that may not be useful to the airport environment. Air- ports may consider airport industrywide coordination with ASME on specification for escalator signage that considers the unique aspects of airport escalators such as luggage, clothing, and footwear that are often caught in escalators. The survey and literature review indicated a need for consistent signage at escalator entrances. Many existing escalator signs violate fundamental signage principles based on human factors and ergonomics. Signage should satisfy the principles of primacy and expectancy. “Primacy” means placing the most important information first. “Expectancy” means consistent signage such as using the same icons, images, colors, or patterns. In addition, to be effective, signs should have no more than three lines of information. In airport environments, internationally recog- nized symbols and icons will be more effective (Hunter-Zaworski and Bricheux 1998). Figure 4-6 shows non-approved prototype signage on the side panel at the entrance to the escalator. The signs indicate that riders should not have strollers or luggage carts. The sign has only three lines of information, but the direction to “Please Use Elevators” is at the bottom and in a small font. Better signage design would place the “Please Use Elevators” message at the top

36 Escalator Falls of the sign with an elevator icon and a directional arrow pointing to the elevator. This would better follow the primacy principle. Figure 4-7 shows two signs on the end of an escalator. The top sign is a commonly used sign. An additional sign uses three icons to show the types of wheeled devices that should not travel on the escalator. The sign shown in Figure 4-8 demonstrates inconsistent capitalization and excessive text. The use of full capitalization is less readable than mixed capitalization. The small print that reads “no wheeled vehicles” is confusing; a better word choice would be “no wheeled devices.” The Figure 4-6. Escalator signage that uses icons (Courtesy of L. Stepaniak). Figure 4-7. Comparison of icons and word signs (Courtesy of M. Thygerson).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 37 use of small font using all capital letters is less legible than mixed capitalization. The sign does prohibit bare feet and the danger at the edge of the step, but the effectiveness is lost as a result of the wordiness and poor layout. Figure 4-9 shows a freestanding sign near an escalator directing people with mobility devices to the elevator. Many state regulations prohibit physical obstacles like freestanding signs near the entrances and exits of escalators. The signs can also impede passenger circulation. Comments on the survey indicate that freestanding signs are often moved away from the escalator area or disappear. This sign also contains too much text. The sign comprehensibility would improve if icons replaced the lines of text. Figure 4-10 shows a freestanding sign located many feet away from the escalator entrance, where it does not impede the pedestrian flow at the entrance or exit to the escalator. The sign uses icons and words in English and Spanish and guides travelers toward the elevators. There have been discussions among risk management professionals on the need to develop consistent or standard signage for escalators that can be incorporated into ASME and state esca- lator codes. In addition, airports need to provide wayfinding signage and information indicating the location of the nearest elevator. Handrail Use Figure 4-11 and Figure 4-12 show signage intended to encourage people to hold the handrail and are from Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) in Nova Scotia, Canada. This sign is bilingual as required by Canadian law, and local regulations allow it to be placed on the edge of the escalator. It illustrates the use of the handrail, holding a child’s hand, and avoiding standing at the edge of the step. Note the use of color circles, which would not be detectable by a person who is red-green color-blind. This sign also includes icons prohibiting baggage carts or strollers, increasing the overall comprehension of this safety instruction. In addition to the large sign, there is a smaller sign affixed to the escalator sidewall. Figure 4-8. Signage on the glass side of the escalator.

38 Escalator Falls Figure 4-9. Freestanding sign at escalator entrance. Figure 4-10. Freestanding sign pointing to elevator (Courtesy of J. Burkholder). Figure 4-12 shows a sign posted on the clear side of the escalator with a slightly different message. This figure includes prohibitions on bare feet and wheeled vehicles. It also cautions passengers to avoid the sides of the escalator. The term “vehicle” is confusing and should be changed to the word “device,” which is more commonly used. The sign in Figure 4-12 contains English wording, which will result in lower comprehension in an international airport environ- ment. Replacing text with icons and symbols would increase the effectiveness of the sign.

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 39 Figure 4-11. Signage on escalator at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), Nova Scotia. Figure 4-12. Sign on escalator at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH).

40 Escalator Falls Figure 4-13 shows a sign with icons and pictograms under consideration at a U.S. airport. This sign meets many of the human factor requirements, but the state regulator rejected it as noncompliant because it would be located within 9 feet of the escalator. Figures 4-14 and 4-15 show signs located adjacent to the escalator on clear backing. The location of the sign in Figure 4-14 makes the sign less conspicuous. The pictogram in the center of the sign encourages the use of the handrail, holding a child’s hand, and standing away from the edge of the step. Figure 4-16 shows the freestanding sign adjacent to the escalator conveys two messages. The top message indicates where to stand and the message below discourages the use of baggage carts on the escalator. There are also icons at the entry to the escalator. Right-Hand Design Escalators should follow the right-hand travel orientation to reduce confusion and bottle- necks in passenger flow and increase passenger flow capacity. Not all terminal designs may sup- port a right-hand design. Passenger flow analysis studies should be done to develop escalator configurations that minimize passenger crossing, intermixing, and congestion at the entrance and exit to the escalator. Escalator Directional Signage Most new escalators have small green and red lights to indicate escalator direction. For passengers with red-green color blindness, these lights do not provide directional informa- tion. Even for non-color-blind passengers, these lights are small and do not provide obvious directional information. Larger lights incorporating directional information would be better for passenger safety. Signage indicating the direction of travel on an escalator is helpful when escalators operating in different directions are co-located. In North America, the right-hand convention for travel is most common, but terminal design might make this convention difficult to implement consistently. In international terminals, operators should emphasize the direction of travel, entrances, and exits of escalators. People drive on the left side of the road in many parts of Asia, Great Britain, and Australia. This traffic pattern results in people habitually using the left side of stairs and escalators. Figure 4-17 shows escalators located at the Singapore Airport. Notice that they follow the left- hand convention. Figure 4-13. Sign proposed for a U.S. airport (Courtesy of L. Stepaniak).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 41 Sign is inconspicuous on side of escalator. Figure 4-14. Clear-backed sign at edge of escalator is difficult to see (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman). Figure 4-15. Sign on plastic barrier between escalator and side wall (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman).

42 Escalator Falls Figure 4-16. Freestanding signs at escalator entrance in Singapore Airport (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman). Figure 4-17. Escalators in Singapore Airport that show the left-hand travel convention (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 43 The photographs also illustrate the use of green directional arrows on the side of the escalator, a green light bar in the threshold and other markings indicating the direction. The down escalator on the right has a red bar and red lights to discourage access. When travelers arrive in North America from countries with the left-hand convention, they immediately encounter the local “right side of the road” culture. Often this happens on the escalator between the aircraft and customs and immigration. It is important that escalator signage clearly indicate the direction of travel. Red and green lights are often used to indicate the direction of the escalator, but this does not work well for people who are red-green color- blind, so escalator signage should include other directional indicators, such as arrows that point in the direction that the escalator is moving. According to Colour Blindness Awareness (2019), red-green color blindness affects about 8% of males and 0.5% of females of northern European ancestry, and its severity and incidence increase with age. Examples of non-color-dependent signage in manufacturer literature show LED lights con- figured in a green arrow indicating both the entrance and direction of the escalator. A red stop bar, or X, is used at the egress of the escalator. In international terminals, escalators may also need physical barriers or bollards to guide passengers onto the proper side of the escalator. To overcome language barriers, wayfinding information for the elevator should use symbolic icons for guidance and identification of the elevator. Newer escalators often have lights indicating the entrance with a green light and the exit with a red light. However, these lights will not inform people who are red-green color-blind. Additional directional cues such as arrows for the entrance and bars for the exit improve sign comprehension for all passengers. Figures 4-18, 4-19, and 4-20 show different types of lights. Figure 4-18 shows an escalator serving a transit station located at an airport in a covered, Figure 4-18. Escalator shows the red-light bar at the top and green light at the bottom of the escalator (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman).

44 Escalator Falls Figure 4-19. Green arrow conveys direction. Figure 4-20. Red button with no directional indication (Courtesy of C. Kaminski).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 45 but outdoor, environment. This escalator may operate in either direction. In this photo, the escalator is operating the “up” direction. Notice the green lights at the bottom and the red-light bar at the top. The shape of the red bar is detectable by people with color blindness. The escalator has three flat steps in the transition area. Other safety elements include side brushes and clearly visible edge and nosing markings. Figure 4-19 shows a green light with an arrow conveying direction to color-blind passen- gers, while Figure 4-20 shows a red light but does not provide any additional directional information. Figure 4-21 shows two sign indicators at the entrance to the escalators in Singapore Airport. Figure 4-22 is a photograph of an escalator at a transit facility in Busan, South Korea. This picture shows a green arrow and a floor tile indicating direction. Other signage elements in the direct line of sight use icons. Also, a physical barrier deters wheeled mobility devices. Notice the swing gate that can close off the escalator, a treatment option not available in many U.S. states because of state and local escalator regulations. The photo also shows the transition zone before the escalator, and that the escalator has three flat steps. Terminal Wayfinding Signage Wayfinding signs indicating the location elevators are important for managing escalator incidents. The signs need to be on both the main path of travel and at the entrance to the escalator. One of the challenges faced by airport operators is locating these signs in a way that minimizes impact on travel through the entrance area of the escalator. Overhead signs on the path of travel visible at a distance can help passengers plan their travel route. Additional signs at escalator entrances need to clearly indicate the location of the nearest elevator. In placing all wayfinding signs, airport designers must consider sight lines for all passengers, particularly those who use wheelchairs and scooters. Airport personnel should conduct sight line evalua- tions in congested conditions to ensure that sight lines will still be clear of obstructions. Figure 4-21. Green and red indicators at Singapore Airport (Courtesy of K. J. Tilleman).

46 Escalator Falls Figure 4-22. Korean escalator signage (Courtesy of H. Saporta). Figure 4-23. Overhead sign for elevators (Courtesy of C. Stephens). Figure 4-23 shows an overhead sign near the entrance to the escalator in the Eugene Oregon Airport (EUG). This large overhead sign is clearly visible to passengers as soon as they leave security screening and are approaching all the vertical change elements. However, the elevator is not visible. Adding an icon for the elevator in addition to the text would increase the usability of the overhead sign. Figure 4-24 is a closer view of the sign in relation to the elevator. The sign is located to the side of the escalators but is not visible to a person in a wheelchair. The airport is installing an additional sign above the elevator that will be more visible to passengers in wheeled mobility devices.

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 47 Figure 4-25 is the small red sign visible in the left side of the photo in Figure 4-23. This sign is insufficiently obvious but does provide an additional visual cue. The airport plans to remove the smaller red sign after installing the new elevator sign. Figure 4-26 shows an example of a sign at Spokane International Airport (GEG) in Washington State, which is located at the entrance to an escalator. The sign is moveable; here it occupies the space between two escalators. The inclusion of arrow and wheelchair symbols along with text improves the information content of the sign, since the arrow also conveys the direction of travel to the elevator. The John Glenn International Airport (CMH) in Columbus, Ohio, has signs encouraging the use of elevators. Figure 4-27 shows a large placard sign indicating the direction to the elevator, as well as an overhead sign directing passengers to the elevator. This sign contains mostly text and Figure 4-24. Approach to escalator with overhead elevator sign (Courtesy of C. Stephens). Figure 4-25. Small red sign pointing to the elevator.

48 Escalator Falls Figure 4-27. Placard and overhead sign for elevator. Figure 4-26. Clear directional sign to elevator (Courtesy of R. Sheehan). would be difficult for non-English speakers to understand. Including icons and symbols would improve sign comprehensibility for this audience. Figure 4-28 shows an overhead sign for the elevator visible to passengers approaching the escalator. The elevator is visible on the right. Figure 4-29 shows the elevator pictogram used at CMH. This is an unusual icon for the elevator. Figure 4-30 shows a sign containing an arrow showing the direction to the elevator and the standard elevator symbol.

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 49 Figure 4-28. Overhead sign for elevator. Elevators are visible from approach to escalator. Figure 4-29. Pictogram on elevator at CMH. Figure 4-30. Standard icon for elevator (Source: U.S. Access Board 2015).

50 Escalator Falls Terminal Design Vertical Change Elements Co-location The best escalator safety device is an elevator! Risk management professionals and many of the reviewed references agreed with this state- ment. Many airports have made efforts to co-locate all the vertical change elements in a single area. Figure 4-31 shows the co-location of escalator stairs and elevators at MSP. New terminals can be designed from the outset to co-locate vertical change elements, incor- porate high-quality escalators, and have clear wayfinding and escalator signage. However, it is more common for airports to remodel and renovate existing terminals. This section highlights many of the unique features in the MSP renewal project. It also includes a discussion of remote baggage drop-off as an option for reducing escalator incidents. Terminal Remodel: Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport MSP is embarking on a major overhaul of elevators and escalators as part of a 5-year plan— itself part of a plan to modernize the “Front Door Experience” in Terminal 1. The project entails dismantling the existing escalators and elevators connecting the four levels at the entrance to Terminal 1. At completion, the project calls for a large, central bank of elevators with a set of escalators on each end providing the vertical circulation needed to move passengers between floors (MSP 2019). This project addresses a number of elements identified in the surveys, litera- ture review, and discussions. These elements include co-location of vertical circulation elements, types of vertical change elements, and wayfinding. This project addresses multilevel vertical change—not just moving between one or two levels. Figure 4-32 shows a schematic of the MSP project. The key element is that the elevators are located on the main path of travel while the escalators are pushed off to the sides. This makes elevators the primary modes for vertical circulation. The elevator bank is located on the main path of travel prior to check-in. Elevators are located between all modes of ground transportation check-in and baggage claim. At this point of their journey, whether arriving or departing, passengers are carrying all their baggage. MSP is an international airport, so passenger baggage is often large and heavy. Passengers with heavy baggage should not ride escalators, so the design strongly urges all passengers to use the elevators. Additionally, the elevator bank promotes full inclusion by keeping all passengers together, making it easy for people with reduced mobility to use the elevators. The escalators are located on the sides away from the main path of travel. Figure 4-31. Co-located vertical change elements.

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 51 Terminal Operations Homing Elevators MSP airport has a policy of co-locating vertical change elements. It also has a practice of “homing” the elevator and leaving the doors open to be more inviting. Homing an elevator means that when an elevator reaches its assigned floor, the doors open and stay open until a passenger enters it and selects the desired floor level. At MSP, the main elevators are equipped with a lighting system highlighting available elevators in green light. The changes to an illumi- nated green light took place when elevators were recently updated (MSP 2019). Figure 4-33 shows a picture of a homed elevator with open doors and green light. Recent renovations at MSP Figure 4-32. Schematic of Terminal 1 remodel (Source: https://reimaginemsp.com/ ticketing-and-baggage-claim/). Figure 4-33. Homed elevator with the green lights at MSP (Source: ENTRO.com).

52 Escalator Falls Terminal 1 include the decision to locate elevators on the path of travel where they are more conspicuous, making them a more attractive option than escalators for moving between floors. Figure 4-34 shows an in-use elevator co-located with stairs and the escalator. Elevators are equipped with a lighting system that highlights available elevators in green. The change to an illuminated green light with an arrow demarcation took place when elevators were updated. Figure 4-35 is a rendering of the approach to the elevator bank. The escalators are located to the side of the main path of travel. The elevator in the rendering is homed, as shown by the green light and open door. The MSP staff consulted with engineers and state elevator officials and determined that there were no data or information indicating that the door must be closed when stopped at a level. In the event of a fire event or an alarm, the elevator doors do close and the elevators operate under first-responder key-use procedures. (Information courtesy of Alan Howell, Senior Air- port Architect, Metropolitan Airports Commission.) Figure 4-34. Rendering of an in-use elevator (Source: www.Alliiance.us). Figure 4-35. Rendering of approach to “homed” elevators (Source: www.Alliiance.us).

Effective Practices to Manage Risk of Escalator Falls 53 Remote Baggage Check-In Remote baggage drop-off benefits both passengers and air carriers. TPA opened a new rental car center and an innovative common-use remote bag check-in. The common-use remote bag check-in allows passengers from multiple airlines to print their boarding passes, tag their luggage, and drop it off, all at the same location. This allows the passengers to travel to the terminal unencumbered by heavy bags. In addition, this service—provided at no additional costs for the passengers—eases congestion at traditional choke points such as on airport trains, in the terminal building, and at check-in counters. There are variations in this service at other U.S. airports. Remote baggage check-in is also common at some international airports in Asia. Remote or off-airport baggage check-in benefits the airlines as it simplifies baggage handling and screening. Baggage Claim The third-party company providing remote bag check-in service at TPA offers VIP baggage delivery service at delivery sites within 100 miles of the airport for a fee. The same company provides this service at many other airports in the United States. Passengers departing the terminal with baggage are also involved in escalator incidents. Baggage claims are often at a lower level of the terminal. At many airports, passengers still need to change levels to depart from the terminal. It is important that elevators are clearly signed and highly visible to passengers traveling to and from baggage claims. Figure 4-36 shows a co-located escalator and elevator. The elevator serves all levels of the airport terminal and provides rapid access from baggage claim to the sky bridge level shown in the figure. The sky bridge provides access to the parking structure and rental car facility. The same elevator bank from baggage claims also serves a tunnel for access to the same parking structure and rental car facility. Figure 4-36. The elevators serve all levels of the airport terminal.

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Escalator falls are a significant concern for risk management staff at airports and in mass transit systems. The major differences between the airport and transit environments are the amount of baggage carried onto the escalator and the level of unfamiliarity of people with the escalator environment in airports.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 109: Escalator Falls identifies and describes methods to mitigate risks associated with escalator usage.

Risk management professionals from both the airport and transit environments have expressed interest in developing common reporting schemes and more robust data analysis to identify common causes of escalator falls.

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