SINGAPORE: Since the mandatory reporting of escalator incidents started on Nov 1 last year, there have been 13 incidents due to technical faults, revealed Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Monday (Oct 2).
In a written reply to a Parliamentary question from Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh, Mr Wong said that these 13 incidents were not due to user behaviour.
He added that as the tightened maintenance regime was only put in place in November, the Ministry of National Development (MND) is still monitoring its effects.
The new regulations require escalator owners and registered escalator contractors to notify the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) as soon as possible when an accident involving death or injury, or a malfunction of safety-critical components occurs.
Mr Wong stressed that improving escalator safety goes beyond having a robust maintenance regime.
“Everyone – the authorities, owners, escalator contractors and the public – has a role to play,” he said, adding that BCA has been working with building owners and transport operators to raise public awareness on the safe use of escalators.
The public, he said, also has to exercise “due care” when using escalators. “This includes safe practices like holding onto handrails and not leaning on the sides of the escalators. Users with prams or bulky items, as well as the elderly and the infirm, should also try to take lifts where possible,” he added.
Last month, a shopper sustained minor injuries after an escalator malfunctioned at The Centrepoint along Orchard Road. In August, another incident at the White Sands mall in Pasir Ris resulted in a four-year-old girl being taken to hospital after her foot got stuck in an escalator. The causes of the accidents have yet to be established.