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Civil Engineering/Being Crushed by Elevators


QUESTION: Hi, this is sort of a weird question but I can't find an anwser for it. Is it possible to get crushed to death by an elevator if you are stick between the elevator and the floor it was on if it starts moving? If there's a saftey feature for that, when was it invented and such. What stops an elevator from crushing you as it moves up or down while you're stuck, and when was that technology implemented? If you don't know, could you recommend where or who to find that information with? Thank you.

ANSWER: Dear Richard

The weight of the elevator box is greater than about 500 kg. If you add the effect of the velocity of impact it is a mortal event to be crashed between the box and floor. The only way to prevent this , is to provide an intelligent system of door not being able to be opened during the motion of the elevator box. This is a common practice in modern elevator industry.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response. When an elevator is going down, that is because the counter balance is lessening its own weight so the elevator is heavier and moves down, or it is allowed slack, correct? Something along those lines. Would that mean that an elevator is not pushing down its full weight if you were to be crushed when the elevator  is moving down? Does the system recognize the elevator is not moving despite it giving slack and thus it stops its process? Is it worse to be crushed when an elevator is going up or down?
I'm sorry these questions are so weird, I tend to look into things too much and come out with more questions.
Thank you for your time and knowledge!

Dear Richard

Although the counter weight provides more efficiency but actually you cannot have a dynamic weight to balance with different weight of the elevator box. Then an electrical motor and winch come to help to compensate the actual unbalancing problem. When an Elevator has been shot down the it is under its unbalanced weight and unbalanced acceleration control and  not matching with the motor power. If the unbalancy doest exist no fall exists.


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Babak Esmailzadeh Hakimi


I can answer questions in Structural Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Project Management and Project Control topics!


I am experienced in the area of earthquake engineering in electrical power industry, i.e. Lifeline Earthquake Engineering. My focus has been on structural seismic design of power installations. Recently I have got involved in project management in the category of constructional engineering.

Sinam Consulting Engineers Co.

Bs degree in Civil Engineering from Ferdowsi University ,1988, Mashhad Iran, Ms degree in Earthquake Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 1993, Tehran, Iran

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