​Although elevators are among the safest forms of transportation, they should be frequently monitored to ensure that they are in good working condition to minimize hazards that could lead to injuries, a recent study published in the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care concludes.

The study, which examines the epidemiology of elevator-related injuries among older adults, revealed that an estimated 44,870 elevator-related injuries occurred in elderly users between 1990 and 2006.

The study, which outlines the types of injuries incurred and makes recommendations about improving elevator safety, found that more than half of the injuries were due to a slip, trip, or fall. Most common were soft-tissue injuries to the upper extremities, such as the head, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, hand, or fingers.

Almost 15 percent of those injured required hospital admission.

Other leading causes of injuries were due to an elevator door closing on a body part, a walker wedged in the elevator door opening, or an individual fainting or a wheelchair falling over.

“Older adults should be informed of the hazards associated with elevators and should use caution when entering or leaving an elevator,” the study recommends.

--Meg LaPorte