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Elevator Safety and the Department of Buildings

Did you know that the New York City Department of Buildings has a website that provides information about individuals and businesses that violate the city’s building codes? One example is the Top 10 list of elevator ordinance violators. The list names both the building address and the owner. As of March 5, 2015, the top elevator offenders were:

  • 540 Jackson Avenue, Bronx. Owner: 540 Jackson Realty Corporation
  • 1839 University Avenue, Bronx. Owner: Leyda Soto
  • 657 Crotona Parkway North, Bronx. Owner: 653-657 LLC
  • 561 West 147th Street, Manhattan. Owner: 147th Street Corporation
  • 545 West 146th Street, Manhattan. Owner: 545 West 146th Street, Inc.
  • 129 Ridge Street, Manhattan. Owner: 129-135 Ridge Street HDFC
  • 104-60 Queens Boulevard, Queens. Owner: Parker Queens LP
  • 2205 Davidson Avenue, Bronx. Owner: New Day Housing Corporation

This DOB list is based on complaints, violations, maintenance filings, and field inspection records. These offenders will be pursued under the Elevator Enforcement Program.


How to Stay Safe When Using an Elevator

The DOB also provides helpful safety tips for members of the public who use elevators. These include:

  • Make sure the elevator is level with the floor while entering and exiting.
  • Do not try to get off an elevator if it stops more than 9 inches from the landing.
  • Don’t stick your hand, arm or any other part of your body between the doors to stop them from closing. Instead, press the “door open” button.
  • Don’t lean on elevator doors.
  • Make sure that clothing is not caught in closing elevator doors
  • Don’t crowd the elevator. Too many people crowded into elevators can cause it to get stuck.
  • Don’t jump up and down while in an elevator. This can make an elevator uneven with the floor and possibly cause it to stop.

If you do get stuck, the DOB instructs you to:

  • Ring the alarm bell
  • Relax
  • Do not try to pry the doors open or climb out the top

Elevators in New York City are generally very safe, part because of the enforcement and educational efforts of the DOB. However, building owners and operators who fail to comply with maintenance and performance standards can undo in an instant the work of the DOB, resulting in elevator accidents that cause injury and death.

This information was brought to you by the New York City construction accident attorneys at Block, O’Toole & Murphy, who invite you to contact them if you were injured by the negligence of a building owner, manager or contractor.