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Elevator shaft fall sparks renewed interest in safety legislation

One week after a nine-year-old girl fell 30 feet down an elevator shaft at Michael Walsh apartments, in West Utica, the elevator was still out of service,

Posted: Feb 22, 2019 5:14 PM


One week after a nine-year-old girl fell 30 feet down an elevator shaft at Michael Walsh apartments, in West Utica, the elevator was still out of service, but it's because the city fire marshal took it out of service, while completing his investigation as to how the girl fell. According to the fire department, the elevator was serviced the day of the fall, before she fell, on February 15th. The out-of-state corporate management for the building did not return a voicemail message, inquiring about who serviced the elevator that day. However, it could have been almost anybody. This is something the elevator industry wants to change.

“New York State is one of only a handful of states in the country that does not require a minimum level of education or training requirements for elevator mechanics or constructors, yet we are home to 10% of the nation’s elevators. The Elevator Safety Act before the New York State Legislature would change that by requiring those working in the elevator industry to undergo comprehensive education and training to prevent incidents like the one at the Michael Walsh Apartments from happening again. We’re looking forward to working with the State legislature to pass this important piece of legislation that will ensure more of New York’s elevators are safe and reliable with an informed and education workforce,” says International Union of Elevator Constructors, Local 1 Spokesperson, Maggie McKeon Truax.

"I'm confident that we will see this progressing," says Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon. "I certainly will do every effort possible. So I will continue to make phone calls to make sure that this is moved along as quickly as possible."

The legislation has a co-sponsor in the senate.

"When we use an elevator, we should have peace of mind that it is safe. This is why I am a cosponsor of legislation that would require the proper training and of those tasked with designing, constructing, inspecting, maintaining and repairing elevators. I am hopeful that this bill will prevent future injuries and deaths from occurring," says Senator Joe Griffo.

The director of Oneida County Emergency Management says anyone needing assistance at Michael Walsh Apartments while the elevators are out of service, can call 211 or The Oneida County Office for the Aging, at 315.798.5456.

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