How unsafe are Oklahoma's elevators? - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

How unsafe are Oklahoma's elevators?

Lawton_A recent report from the Oklahoma Department of Labor says you could be taking your life in your hands by getting on some Oklahoma elevators.  The Department of Labor shut down more than 100 elevators in the state in 2008, and they were in such bad shape that that the director of Oklahoma's Safety Standards Division says it is only "by the grace of God" someone had not died on them.  

Division Chief Tom Monroe says you should always look for a safety sticker on the wall of any elevator you ride in.  He says that if there is no sticker - something is wrong.  But, just how bad are they? 7NEWS checked out three elevators on Monday - none of them had a safety sticker. 

On November 1, 2006, the Oklahoma Elevator Safety Act was enacted to keep people safe.  Doors that stick, doors that open when they aren't supposed to, or even an oil leak can earn an elevator a red tag from Inspector Monroe, who oversees Oklahoma's five inspectors.  Monroe says the situation is dangerous.  "It's been an accident waiting to happen," he said.  "You've got to remember that except for Oklahoma City and Tulsa, there hasn't been an effective elevator program in the state - ever."

He says last year's inspection of more than 1,200 elevators was long overdue.  "You've got elevators that were put in back in the early 1900s that have never, ever, been looked at by a qualified inspector," Monroe said. 

Monroe says that while the chance of something tragic happening is relatively low, it's important to look for one thing - the sticker.  The Department of Labor says there were seven reported elevator-related accidents last year, none of them serious.  It says it would like to keep it that way.

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