Experts Weigh In On Lift Safety

To prevent accidents like the one in Tah Ching Road from recurring, lift experts who spoke to the Straits Times (“Experts weigh in on preventing accidents”, 7 Nov) highlighted the following precautions:

1. Pet owners should carry their animals into the lift.

2. Older lifts should be upgraded to include newer safety technology.

Lift and escalator engineer Kok Peng Koon said that the 9 Oct accident could have been avoided if the 19-year-old lift which severed Madam Khoo Bee Hua's left hand had a more modern multi-beam or "door curtain" sensor.

"These sensors, which sometimes have almost 200 beams for one lift, are close to 100 per cent foolproof," said Mr Kok, who has 38 years of industry experience. "Even if you put a thin strip of paper between the doors, they will open."

Lift engineer and Honorary Secretary of the Singapore Lift and Escalator Contractors and Manufacturers Association, Quah Eng Hing, agreed that upgrading lift door sensors is the "best solution" to avoid future accidents. 

"Newer Housing Board lifts have an infra-red curtain that is so dense, with criss-crossing beams that can even sense objects in front of the doors," he said.

Experts stressed that lifts like the one in Tah Ching Road are still safe to use, but cautioned passengers to ride lifts carefully.

What are your views of the suggestions? What else can we do to ensure lift safety?

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