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Push to pass Elevator Safety Act

Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 12:41:33-05

There's a statewide push for elevator safety on the heels of fives deaths in 2015. One of those cases took place at Tonawanda Coke. 

A 60-year-old worker died while greasing the gears of an elevator. 

"In that situation it was someone who had not been trained," said New York state Senator Marc Panepinto. 

That's why Panepinto is sponsoring the Elevator Safety Act

"We want to mandate in this state, people that work on, install and service elevators go through the proper training," said Panepinto. 

According to Don Winkle an IUEC Local 14 Business Representative, in New York state there's more than 60,00 elevators which represent 10% of elevators nationwide. 

"Elevators and escalators are considered transportation," said Winkle. "They carry more people everyday than every other form of transportation combined."

Winkle also said New York state is one of 16 states left in the union that doesn't require elevator contractors to have a license, but a nail or hair stylist does. 

"I was shocked to learn last year that you don't need a license in New York state to work on an elevator," said Panepinto. "We've had five deaths in the last year including a number of injuries in elevators that weren't maintained properly by people who are unlicensed."

Panepinto says this is a safety bill. It would require elevators workers receive four years of training, work experience and take a written exam before getting licensed.