Following the incident where a toddler lost part of his foot in a horrific escalator accident, a nationwide operation will start next week to perform random checks on mall escalators.
According to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), the checks would look at safety equipment, design and maintenance history of escalators – particularly in the Klang Valley. AsiaOne quoted director-general Datuk Mohtar Musri as saying, “Usually we inspect escalators once every 15 months to renew their licence, while the complexes are expected to hire competent persons or firms to do maintenance every 2 months. This will be on top of the normal inspections. We will look at the safety equipment on the escalators and whether the complex has the proper design codes and signages based on our checklist.”
On 8th February, 4-year-old Dzil Mikhail Nasaruddin had part of his left foot severed in a mishap on an escalator at KL Sentral. His forefoot, which was stuck in a gap between the side panel and steps, was retrieved by firemen more than an hour after the incident and was rushed to HKL.
Unfortunately, the doctors at HKL could not reattach the boy’s foot.
Last July, 15-month-old Mohd Afkar Daniel Freedy’s hand was severed at the wrist after it got caught in an escalator at the KL Sentral. Between 2011 and May 2015, there have been 31 similar cases reported.
Datuk Mohtar Musri added that escalators should be regularly maintained and have approved safety features like emergency stop buttons, yellow demarcation lines on steps, and skirt brushes. Escalators that don’t have the needed safety features will be barred from usage and its owners can face a fine of up to RM150,000 or 2 years in jail.
In a separate report by TMI, Mohtar said investigations into Dzil Mikhail’s case revealed that the KL Sentral escalator in question was working fine and that it had been maintained regularly and had the safety features. He had since advised escalator users, especially parents with young children, to be more cautious when using the people mover.