Elevator Entrapment

Policy

Emergency response for all elevators shall be conducted in accordance with this policy.

Back to top

Authority and Responsibility

Departments responsible for coordinating this policy are:

  • Environmental Health and Safety;
  • Facilities Services Operations; and
  • The University of Chicago Police Department.

All departments are responsible for testing the communication systems in elevators on an annual basis.

All contractors and sub-contractors are responsible for:

  • Understanding the University’s Elevator Safety Policy; and
  • Complying with lockout/tagout procedures during servicing and maintenance activities.

Back to top

Elevators

This policy shall include all present and future elevators as outlined below:

  • Passenger elevators;
  • Freight elevators;
  • Construction elevators; and
  • Lift elevators.

Note: All manual switch elevators shall only be operated by a qualified employee. Operation or use of these elevators as passenger elevators by residents or students is strictly prohibited.

Back to top

Unoccupied Elevator Failures

If an unoccupied elevator fails, contact the appropriate department responsible for the building as listed below:

  • Facilities Services: 773.834.1414;
  • Physical Plant: 773.702.6295; or
  • International House: 773.753.2279.

When reporting an elevator failure, provide the location (e.g., building, address) and elevator number. The appropriate department shall:

  • Dispatch a University employee (e.g., building engineer, electrician, janitor) to respond to the call;
  • Confirm that an entrapment issue does not exist;
  • Contact the elevator contractor for a service request and determine the estimated time of arrival; and
  • Place an “Out of Service” sign on the elevator if the estimated time of arrival is in excess of sixty minutes.

Note: University employees should not attempt to reset the elevator, open the shaft, or pry open the doors.

Back to top

Occupied Elevator Failures

If you are trapped inside an elevator, activate the elevator emergency phone to notify the University of Chicago Police Department. The University Police Department shall notify the appropriate department responsible for the building.  If there are injuries or life threatening hazards, the University Police Department shall contact the Chicago Fire Department.  If a student is involved in the entrapment, then the Dean of Students On-Call shall be contacted.  If you are outside an elevator and have knowledge of someone trapped inside the elevator, contact the appropriate department responsible for the building as listed below:

  • Facilities Services: 773.834.1414;
  • Physical Plant: 773.702.6295; or
  • International House: 773.753.2279.

When reporting an elevator failure, provide the following:

  • Caller’s name;
  • Location (e.g., building, address, floor);
  • Elevator number;
  • Elevator location call back number;
  • Problem (e.g., stalled, stuck between floors, people trapped);
  • Number of people trapped;
  • If any trapped persons are students; and
  • Any injuries, life threatening conditions or additional information.

The appropriate department shall:

  • Dispatch a University employee (e.g., building engineer, electrician, janitor) to respond to the call;
  • Contact their elevator contractor for a service request and determine the estimated time of arrival;
  • If the estimated time of arrival is in excess of thirty minutes, University employees (e.g., building engineer, electrician, janitor) may reset the elevator ONCE to assist in bringing it to a floor. If the elevator does not reset, the University employee shall notify the University Police immediately to ensure the Chicago Fire Department is dispatched;
  • Communicate to the trapped persons inside the elevator that help is on the way;
  • Ascertain if there are any injuries, severe sense of panic or life threatening conditions inside the elevator;
  • If so, notify the University Police immediately to ensure the Chicago Fire Department is dispatched; and
  • Maintain communication with the elevator contractor at all times to avoid activities that could endanger passengers, mechanics, or other people responding to the scene.

Note:  Except as noted, University employees shall not attempt to reset the elevator, open the shaft, or pry open the doors.

Reviewed: April 2015

Back to top