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The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S04-25 [Active (Synthesis)]

Escalator Falls
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 7/1/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Gail R. Staba
Principal Investigator: Katharine Hunter-Zaworski
Fiscal Year: 2019


Final Scope

Airports terminals are space constrained and many airport operators see escalators as a necessity and as the most efficient way to convey travelers vertically between levels.  Escalator equipment design and layout considers people, travel speed, and redundancy, but not typically luggage and mobility devices that airport travelers bring with them.  Airport escalators convey increasing volumes of airport users, are a necessary risk, and are not going away any time soon.  Escalator placement in airport terminals was not historically co-located with elevators, so many travelers choose to take themselves, their belongings, and their travel companions on easily found escalators instead of elevators that many times are inconspicuous.  As airport terminals are being renovated and reconfigured to work around existing infrastructure, design and technology can be used to improve safe escalator use.    Airport operations staff  use signage, lighting and sound to notify and educate travelers, and video coverage to manage risk.  Airport operators would like to better understand what they can do to safely accommodate traveler needs for vertical conveyance and to provide devices, design strategies, signage, education, and manage data to reduce escalator fall risks.

There are a number of focus points to consider when improving escalator safety.  They include but are not limited to:

• User behavior and human factors
• Design and technology
• Signage and wayfinding
• Attractive distractors (art, advertising, and other distractions; and spaces that invite people to use them unsafely)
• Maintenance

The objective of this research is to identify and describe how airports mitigate risks from escalator usage.  The target audience for this synthesis is airport operators (planning and engineering groups; marketing, customer experience, and revenue/advertising; safety and risk managers; maintenance); designers, architects and consultants; airport management companies and building operators; insurance carriers and brokers; and escalator manufacturers.

The following information, at minimum, will be collected, analyzed, and reported in a concise synthesis document that provides solutions to improve escalator use.

• Existing literature and research results on the nature and reasons for escalator incidents at airports and strategies for reducing escalator falls
• Aggregated data from airport risk managers and airport insurance carriers on escalator incidents and instigating factors
• Survey or interview of airport safety and/or risk managers to understand effective practices for improving safety on escalators and reducing falls (Assume at least 40 responses required from a range of large, medium, small and non-hub airports, geographically represented with different user profiles)
o User communication and educational outreach (e.g, Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation,
www.eesf.org) and safety communication.
o Information on design/layout and pathways to and from escalators to maximize safety
o Mechanical speed of escalators and how airport operators determine the speed sweet spot for maximal safety for the target population
o Devices to safeguard escalator users-notification signage, lighting, announcements, keeping clothing from catching, emergency shut down
o Design considerations, e.g., avoiding bunching at entries and exists
o Maintenance practices, responsiveness, redundancy and contracted versus in-house
o Video coverage to support liability claims
o Airport personnel training to direct travelers to elevators and airport safety culture that mitigates risk
• Case examples (from a subset of survey respondents that offer a diversity of useful information)
o Lessons learned, challenges and opportunities for improving escalator safety.  Example of one challenge includes that in MA, state statute requires the manufacturer inspect equipment every time the escalator is turned off.  One example of an opportunity is remote baggage pickup. (TPA, LAS and MCO have remote baggage pickup as an example to reduce the number of bags passengers are carrying on escalators).  Another example of an opportunity is that SRQ and GSP have changed the speed of their escalators, potentially based up their airport user profiles.
• Appendices-Examples are checklists, maintenance schedules and/or contracts, risk management trends and analysis tools, incident reports, risk management information system (RMIS) examples, reporting pathways, signage that could be included as a user education/communication toolkit.

Partial Information Sources (Note that there is very little on airport escalators, so the following information sources are primarily associated with transit)

Xing, Yingying; Lu, Jian Joh n. An Analysis of Escalator-Related Injuries in Metro Stations in Guangzhou, 2013-2015. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Transportation Research Board, 2017, 16p https://trid.trb.org/view/1439320

Shen, Yixin; Ye, Xin; Chen, Juan; Lo, S M; Ma, Jian. Effect of Stair and Escalator Combination Form on Platform Flow Performance in Metro Stations. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Transportation Research Board, 2017, 15p https://trid.trb.org/view/1438221

Antos, Justin D; Jia, Wendy; Parker, Jonathan H. Is It Too Crowded in Here? In Search of Safety Standards for Pedestrian Congestion in Rail Stations. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Issue 2648, 2017, pp 126–133 https://trid.trb.org/view/1437687

Zhuang, Yifan; Zhou, Xiao dong; Ni, Yong; Yang, Lizhong. Passengers’ behavioral intentions towards congestion: Observational study of the entry restrictions at traffic bottleneck. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, Volume 21, Issue 6, 2017, pp 2393-2402 https://trid.trb.org/view/1480819

Bardyshev, Oleg; Popov, Valery; Druzhinin, Pyotr; Bardyshev, Andrey. Expert Review of Metro Escalators Safety. Transportation Research Procedia, Volume 20, Issue 0, 2017, pp 31-35 https://trid.trb.org/view/1447269

Hunter-Zaworski, K. Analysis of passenger incident data from five rail transit systems. Safety, Volume 3, Issue 3, 2017, 21 (10p) https://trid.trb.org/view/1489231

Bardyshev, Oleg; Popov, Valery; Druzhinin, Pyotr; Bardyshev, Andrey. Expert Review of Metro Escalators Safety. Transportation Research Procedia, Volume 20, Issue 0, 2017, pp 31-35 https://trid.trb.org/view/1447269

Pelczarski, Z. (2018) The requirements of human factors and ergonomics for the safe and comfortable stairs versus the escalators. Vol. 600. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing (pp. 176-186). https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85021759747&doi=10.1007%2f978-3-319-60450-3_17&partnerID=40&md5=40dc4a60ff40420891c92a31a53d70bb

Isnaini Janipha, N. A., Aina Syed Alwee, S. N., Mohd Ariff, R., & Ismail, F. (2018). Maintenance and Safety Practices of Escalator in Commercial Buildings. Paper presented at the IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85044476984&doi=10.1088%2f1755-1315%2f117%2f1%2f012042&partnerID=40&md5=d868c998233d4d4c8582e3226440c5fc

Xing, Y., Dissanayake, S., Lu, J., Long, S., & Lou, Y. (2017). An analysis of escalator-related injuries in metro stations in China, 2013-2015. Accident Analysis and Prevention. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2017.10.007 https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85032198438&doi=10.1016%2fj.aap.2017.10.007&partnerID=40&md5=faa7017f4f389ebbb8a40d3ac7fd5ca0

Li, W., Gong, J., Yu, P., & Shen, S. (2016). Modeling, simulation and analysis of group trampling risks during escalator transfers. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 444, 970-984. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2015.10.091 https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84946945178&doi=10.1016%2fj.physa.2015.10.091&partnerID=40&md5=c610e436f08432646dac36d1ab8a2d8f

Harrison, C., Kukadia, N., Stoneman, P., & Dyer, G. (2016). Pilot for standing on both sides of escalators. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85013377285&partnerID=40&md5=663753fb9caafdc78e8fb2e9f4a41b31

Harley, P., & Seaborne, K. (2016). London underground escalator passenger safety strategy improving passenger safety on escalators. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85013382588&partnerID=40&md5=2ba70a67aa4385316e1ac0e24ef3bf0d

Williams, S., & Sevenants, J. (2015). Optic technology for the entrapment issues of side of step, comb plate and lift doors. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84992472514&partnerID=40&md5=5f50ce5b49b1d8515e1ff08c376ee6a8

Wang, W., Li, X., & Pan, Q. L. (2015). Risk management of the escalator overturned accident. Journal of Donghua University (English Edition), 32(2), 234-239. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84940752599&partnerID=40&md5=5b337e3a8a915b3e2ce13d17dcdae91f

Ruibal, E. G., Mieres, I. G., González, I. O., Cooper, D., & Batalla, J. D. (2015). Escalator accidents analysis. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84992448371&partnerID=40&md5=17465db5aff5b63344e49d3200b726b6

Li, W., Gong, J., Yu, P., Shen, S., Li, R., & Duan, Q. (2015). Simulation and analysis of congestion risk during escalator transfers using a modified social force model. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 420, 28-40. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2014.10.044 https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84910662539&doi=10.1016%2fj.physa.2014.10.044&partnerID=40&md5=2d18b39b036bf2c77a62cc91f1489f7c

Langham, B. (2015). Optimisation of the running speed of escalators on the london underground. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84992463398&partnerID=40&md5=309b87c270a19b44406c5edfc0023a57

Buet, H., & Courteille, D. (2015). Impact of design methods and maintenance policies on the dynamic behavior of escalators. Paper presented at the Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies.https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84992458328&partnerID=40&md5=177c7a6935dbf54495405cdc330d7f5a

Tang, Y. L. (2014) A design and realization of escalator handrail speed tolerance measurement based on ARM Cotex-M4. Vol. 530-531. Applied Mechanics and Materials (pp. 93-96). https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84896265889&doi=10.4028%2fwww.scientific.net%2fAMM.530-531.93&partnerID=40&md5=22bcc938b1b53f8a573f9f59f9c5e171

Li, W., Gong, J., Yu, P., Shen, S., Li, R., & Duan, Q. (2014). Simulation and analysis of individual trampling risk during escalator transfers. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 408, 119-133. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2014.03.071 https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84899827102&doi=10.1016%2fj.physa.2014.03.071&partnerID=40&md5=7ad1578371061d2bfcb15abdc017169c

Xu, H., Jiao, L. D., Chen, S. L., Deng, M. L., & Shen, N. X. (2018). An Innovative Approach to Determining High-Risk Nodes in a Complex Urban Rail Transit Station: A Perspective of Promoting Urban Sustainability. Sustainability, 10(7). doi:10.3390/su10072456 ://WOS:000440947600347

Shiwakoti, N., Tay, R., Stasinopoulos, P., & Woolley, P. (2018). Passengers' perceived ability to get out safely from an underground train station in an emergency situation. Cognition Technology & Work, 20(3), 367-375. doi:10.1007/s10111-018-0473-3 ://WOS:000439906300003

Shiwakoti, N., Tay, R., Stasinopoulos, P., & Woolley, P. J. (2017). Likely behaviours of passengers under emergency evacuation in train station. Safety Science, 91, 40-48. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2016.07.017 ://WOS:000386986200005

 

Topic Panel
Geoffrey Ax, POPULOUS
Christopher Kaminski, Wayne County Airport Authority, Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Edward K. McDonald, III, Nashville International Airport
Frank Rivera, Massachusetts Port Authority
Jerry Ruth, Chubb Group,  ACE USA
Tami Warren, Nashville International Airport
Rebecca Didio, Federal Aviation Administration
Ashley Sng, Airports Council International - North America

Consultant
Katharine Hunter-Zaworski
541/753-3737
hunterzaworski@gmail.com

TRB Staff
Gail R. Staba
202/334-2442
gstaba@nas.edu

Meetings
First Meeting  May 14, 2019, Washington, DC
Teleconference: July 11, 2019 2p EDT 
2nd Panel Meeting: January 23, 2020  Washington DC

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