BCA takes aim at prams on escalators, encourages operators to put up safety posters, stickers
It is common to see strollers on escalators, but the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) wants to reduce such sights.
There were eight reported escalator incidents caused by strollers since the start of last year, but there were no major injuries reported, said the BCA at a media briefing yesterday.
According to the BCA, more than 92 per cent of escalator incidents are caused by unsafe behaviour, with the remaining the result of mechanical problems such as faulty handrails.
As part of an ongoing effort to curb errant behaviour on escalators, the BCA will encourage operators to put up safety posters and stickers, with a focus on the use of strollers and bulky items on escalators.
Stroller wheels can jam escalator steps, causing them to be dislodged and for the escalator to come to a sudden stop as the safety mechanisms kick in.
Mr Teo Orh Hai, group director of electrical and mechanical engineering at BCA, said sudden stops and dislodged steps can cause falls.
But not all users may be on board. Designer Johan Hamzah, 45, who uses a stroller for his three-year-old daughter, said: " Have you seen the lifts (at shopping malls)? Sometimes it's just impossible to get into them."
There have been more than 700 escalator incidents reported since last year - an average of about one a day.
Incidents reported to BCA involve injuries or the malfunction of critical safety components. In March, a woman's arm was trapped in the gap between a wall and an escalator at Bugis Junction. Passers-by had to smash the glass portion of the escalator railing to free her.
Other unsafe behaviour on escalators include not holding the handrail, using mobile phones and not standing within the yellow lines.
The BCA yesterday announced the addition of one more escalator maintenance outcome to the existing 10, which include handrails moving in the same direction and at the same speed as escalator steps.
From next year, contractors must ensure the controller and electrical system - the "brain" of the machinery - must be earthed and grounded and free of defects.
BCA said that such checks already take place but it wanted to further specify outcomes.
Engineer S. Yogeeswaran, a member of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technical Committee of the Institution of Engineers Singapore, is supportive of public education campaigns for escalator use.
"People often don't realise escalators are machines and when using them, they need to stick to necessary precautions."