More and more passenger lifts are installed around the world every single day, and there's good reason for this. Lifts are an uber-efficient and safe way to move large numbers of people around tall buildings, and they are especially important for providing equal access to people with mobility limitations. Let's take a closer look below at these 3 significant advantages.
- Lifts are One of the Safest Modes of Transport Available
As we've discussed in a previous blog, lifts are statistically far safer than stairs, which are responsible for killing well over a thousand Australians per year. To give some contrast, there was not one single work-related fatality linked to lifts in Australia between 2003 and 2018, according to the latest data from Safe Work Australia. People killed in lift accidents are also statistically far more likely to be killed servicing the lift than actually using it.
It's important to recognise that lifts across all Australian states must be compliant with strict servicing regimes. Stairs obviously, are also required to be well maintained, however, partly by virtue of being commonly in use for a much longer time period, stairwells particularly those in older buildings are often plagued by safety problems. Poor lighting, irregular rises, steep pitches and wobbly balustrades are some of the common issues found in older stairwells; it takes just one of these issues to make a fall more likely.
- Lifts Provide Guaranteed Access for Elderly People and People with Mobility Restrictions
More than 100,000 Australians aged 65 and over were hospitalised due to a fall in 2016–17, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. While stairs and steps were the cause of only 7,850 of these falls, bear in mind that a fall down stairs is likely to have far more serious consequences than a trip or fall on a flat surface. Consider too that the low number of stair-related falls also undoubtedly reflects the fact that many elderly people consciously choose to take the lift rather than the stairs for this very reason. Without the safety advantages of lifts, the number of elderly Australians hospitalised for falls could be significantly higher.
- Lifts Offer Huge Efficiency Dividends
There's a reason why passenger lifts have skyrocketed in popularity in recent decades and it relates in part to the relentless increase in high rise office and apartment blocks in cities around the world. As our buildings get taller and taller, lifts make more and more sense. Obviously even if you have to wait a minute or two for a lift, it's still going to be quicker than climbing 50 odd flights of stairs to reach the 25th floor; not to mention you may well be a sweaty wreck by the time you get there! Plus as lift technology continues to advance, wait times are shrinking as lifts become faster and faster; with the fastest lifts in the world today reaching speeds of more than 60km/hour!
Lifts provide a very efficient means to transport large numbers of people safely and smoothly around high rises without the risk of stair well collisions (and annoying wait times when you get stuck behind slow stair climbers). Nowadays too lifts in large buildings often function in ‘elevator banks'. What this means is that certain lifts are designated to move between say the same 4-5 floors every time, so wait times are cut even further.