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Friday, 18 November 2011

The Hazards of Escalators

I have been reading about how bad and dangerous escalators are and the shocking number of people who are injured by them each year.  Flip-flops seem to be the most "eaten" things by escalators but people have lost toes, fingers, had their hair ripped out etc.  Apparently it isn't only the teeth at the top and the bottom of the escalator that are a problem but the sides of them as well, especially if a child hangs on to the side of them.  It seems horrendous injuries are reported frequently and yet we are still not being careful when we are on them and we don't stop children from “mucking about” while on them.  Bending down to release something already caught is another big mistake as inevitably something of you gets caught and goes round the teeth sucking you in.  At least one person has died from being strangled when their clothing got caught.  

They were invented towards the end of the last century but they have not really changed in design much since then.  You would think that with all the new technology now they would be able to redesign them so that these dangerous things cannot happen.  In these current times we are so safety conscious and so many precautions are taken in so many things but we are still at risk every time we step on to an escalator.  Most of the injuries that have occurred have not been when people have fallen or tripped but just through bad timing in getting on or off the escalator or wearing inappropriate footwear.  Do we go out thinking “are we likely to need to go on an escalator today as if I am I will need to change my shoes” – I think it unlikely.  We tell children off for jumping off the escalator at the bottom / top but maybe they have got the most sensible idea.  One escalator actually blew up in the London Underground when too much fluff and small debris had collected in the inner workings and over thirty people died.  But this particular situation is a lot less likely to happen than for a person to get injured by the teeth of the escalator.

It just goes to show that stairs are better for you in more ways than just for the exercise.

Todays trivia snippet:

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.

Lastly, here is todays chuckle:

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?'
'Yep,' the wife replied, 'in-laws.'

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