Investigation yields answers in deadly Florida elevator accident

Not long ago, investigators found answers in the death of a Tampa worker in a resort’s elevator shaft. While conducting work at the bottom of the shaft, the elevator came tumbling down on the 45-year-old man. Tragically, he died as a result of his injuries.

In the wake of a preliminary investigation, safety officials now have a better idea about why the defective elevator fell on the worker. According to reports, the elevator’s power supply wasn’t completely shut off. Even though the car was locked several floors  above the worker, the elevator accident occurred in part due to the fact that the power supply wasn’t physically shut off.

Specifically, there was a failure to adhere to the “Lockout/Tagout” procedure, which requires one person to manually shut off an elevator’s power supply and the very same person to turn it back on with a key. Despite the fact that some answers have come forward, this oversight fails to fully explain what caused the accident.

In addition to the certain findings about this accident, an elevator inspector uncovered a total of 13 safety violations. These findings may or may not have been a direct result of the accident, because an inspection by a private elevator inspector only days before the accident didn’t turn up any issues.

As the weeks pass, the worker’s loved ones may wish to explore their options under Florida’s premises liability and wrongful death laws. If it’s determined that one or more parties demonstrated negligence contributing to this accident, they may have the option to pursue compensation for their losses.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Key safety step missed in fatal elevator accident,” Kameel Stanley,  April 26, 2013 

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