With all of the busyness in the weeks leading up to the New Year, it can be easy to lose sight of the risks inherent in the work that International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) elevator mechanics and apprentices do every day. It takes training, experience, and focus to be able to work safely with complex equipment and in environments that pose as many hazards as those found on an elevator constructor’s jobsite.
Making safety a priority is important all year round, but during the holidays, it’s even more urgent to keep focused – because distractions are everywhere. Airports, shopping malls, and parking garages are full of people who aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing or where they’re going. Workers may be tired from putting in overtime hours to prepare for an out-of-town trip to visit relatives or to buy someone in their family that really special gift. Distractions come from all sides and can seem ever-present.
Regardless of what’s going on in the environment, it’s absolutely essential for elevator constructors to remember their training and stay focused on working safe. Live electrical hazards, open hoistways, cramped spaces, entanglement risks, noxious fumes, machinery with sharp or heavy moving parts – all of these are dangers people working in the elevator trade face daily, and any of them can cause serious injuries to workers who get distracted or lose their sense of situational awareness.
The IUEC’s registered apprenticeship program offers comprehensive safety training to those new to the industry beginning as soon as they are hired into the trade. After completing an initial 6-month probationary apprenticeship period, first-year students are trained in general worksite safety courses such as OSHA and American Heart Association First Aid Heartsaver CPR as well as techniques for working safe with equipment and in environments specific to the responsibilities they’ll have installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining elevators, escalators, moving walks, and other specialized conveyance equipment.
In-class lab activities at the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) classrooms across the United States have students trying on and demonstrating the use of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they’ll be using on the job, such as hard hats, safety harnesses, hearing protection, respiratory protection, gloves, goggles, and more. Safety awareness is at the heart of NEIEP’s training for a reason – the IUEC believes that the most important part of an elevator constructor’s work each day is making it home safe to their family each night.
In the coming weeks, ElevatorInfo.org will be sharing content that highlights the vital need for safety awareness in the elevator industry. Watch this video, then share to help make this holiday season a Season of Safety.