City Council Considers Elevator Safety Legislation

The City Council is considering two new elevator safety bills. One would require certification for mechanics, and the other would require elevators to be equipped with extra safety mechanisms.

The proposed legislation is prompted by the tragic death of the advertising executive who was killed last December when the elevator she was entering at her Madison Avenue building shot upward unexpectedly, with the doors still open.

A city-led investigation into the death found that mechanics working on the elevator just hours before the incident failed to remove a device that disengaged a safety mechanism, allowing the elevator to move even when its doors were open.

The new legislation would force elevator repair technicians to be licensed and would require that they pass a mechanics examination administered by a nationally or state-approved program.

The second bill would require elevators in residential and mixed-use buildings to be equipped with an extra safety mechanism that would keep cars from hitting the ceiling if elevators ever suddenly accelerate.