Thousands of office workers all over Australia spend part of their day on a problem-free commute in an elevator. When lifts get stuck mid-journey, however, the situation can become incredibly stressful. What can you do if you become trapped in an elevator, and how is compensation awarded?
1. Keep calm
Though the reality of being trapped in a lift is terrifying, the worst thing you can do is panic. If you find yourself stuck in a lift, take time to breathe before proceeding with your rescue strategy. A panicked state can raise your heart rate and temperature, which can make the elevator seem smaller than it actually is.
This will benefit others in the elevator too – particularly if you’re with children, as presenting an anxious front isn’t going to help with their own stresses. While keeping cool, calm and collected may not cure the other people of their worries entirely, staying positive is a much better way to tackle the wait ahead, rather than remaining in a state of panic.
2. Ask for help
The first port of call should be to check whether there is an emergency call button inside the elevator. If not, use a phone to contact both emergency services and building management. If you are trapped with multiple people, make sure you aren’t all using your devices at once. In this situation, conserving battery life is crucial to stay in contact with rescuers.
After contacting help and calming down, find a space to relax. If there’s no estimated rescue time, take the opportunity to get to know the other people trapped with you, and aim to keep spirits high. If a person is upset, comfort them. Unity is strength – especially in a confined space.
If I have been trapped in an elevator, am I eligible for compensation?
Stuck elevators are common occurrences, and often, these are resolved quickly without harm or excess stress. However, depending on the nature of the situation you may be eligible for a form of compensation, particularly if injury, such as heat stroke, or psychological damage has occurred.
If the incident has occurred in the workplace, you may be able to seek damages under the Workers Compensation Act (1951) – however, it is important to note that if you file a claim under this Act, you won’t be able to seek a statutory benefit at the same time. When considering compensation under this Act, it is important to consult with expert legal professionals. In places such as malls or hotels, a public liability claim may be sought if negligence of care can be proven. This may involve an investigation into the maintenance of the elevator, or any unreported faults that had occurred over recent weeks.
For assistance with public liability claims, get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners.