Sunday, January 27, 2019

Taking a fall

Only people of a certain age take a fall. Younger people fall over. The older person may need to see their doctor. The younger person may need to see a doctor. Wow, third sentence in and I am off on a language tangent.

Melbourne's underground Parliament Station has, perhaps, no one is sure, the longest escalators in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been recently reported that there are quite a number of falls on the escalators (if you don't use the term escalator, I mean a moving stairway).

I have used the escalators and I never fell down. What is happening? Why are people falling down on the escalators? The danger point is surely getting on or off the escalator, but that is not where people are falling. They are falling mid flight, so to speak.

I agree with the opinions that there is a lack of vertical architectural elements and the escalator surrounds also lack horizontal elements. I also agree that perhaps lighting and reflections are a problem.

But you know, I was observing a lass on a much shorter escalator at the QV shopping centre in the city. She was totally focused on her phone. Her whole body started to tilt forward.  She caught herself  by grabbing the moving rubber handrail and steadied herself. Could it be that people looking at their phones and not looking around be the cause of rise in escalator falls at stations, that is they lose their spatial orientation?

Well, I understand some very ugly markings on the escalators have been installed. But if phone staring is the problem, will this help?

36 comments:

  1. Interesting. I fell over recently. Perhaps the only thing where I fall into the 'younger person' category. I suspect that quite a lot of mishaps (some deadly) can be traced back to phone staring.

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    1. Poor EC. Were you terribly bruised?

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    2. Mostly my pride. Which isn't large.

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  2. Hold the railing!! An older friend (who is now dead) and I would often go to things together. In his more frail days, he would often walk down the middle of a staircase. "Let's grab the railing", I would often say. As a consequence, I have become a railing holder myself, though now only 53 years old.

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    1. James, rather like we have to prompt my mother to hold on to things and look for easy paths. That is to just think about what she is doing.

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  3. I don't understand with the obsession so many people have with their phones. My extension cord isn't long enough, so I never take mine out with me.

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    1. Lee, snort. You like you home computer and internet. It is now like carrying that with you, in a very small size.

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    2. I realise that Andrew...I'm really not that far behind the times! lol

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    3. I never underestimate you.

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  4. Yes.... people are like Zombie's looking into their phones!!

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    1. Lady J, I am guilty at times, but I try to be sensible about it.

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  5. My beloved is a radiologist who had his biggest practice next to the MCG (because of all the injuries to fast bowlers' backs). He should open a small practice at Parliament Station, at least in winter.

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    1. Hels, I think Joe's practice is in an excellent location. Surely he would get footballers too.

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  6. I could suggest a very large sign saying phones must not be used while on escalator, but if they are already staring at their screens when they step on such a sign would be useless. Perhaps a loudspeaker who calls out "pay attention to your surroundings while escalating" might be better.

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    1. River, the announcement would be a good idea. We already hear many on trams and I have heard safety announcements at stations.

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  7. One of my hated expressions is 'had a fall', rather than 'fell over'.

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    1. Cro, it is very much an age thing here. Older people take or have a fall. I wonder why that little speech oddity entered our language, but it has been around for a long time here.

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  8. People looking into their phones, others not watching what they are doing.
    Having a fall - falling over for me.

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    1. Margaret, yes, you are far too young to have a fall. You could perhaps go a... over t....!

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  9. I don't have a fall, I have a landing usually quite some way from where started. Once I lose my balance there's no saving me from disaster.

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    1. Queen Diva of falls! You are so expert at so many things.

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    2. The Gold Medallist of falls.

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  10. Not funny I know, but I call it a 'face plant' .. I've only face planted twice, I hope never to again 😀

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    1. Grace, me only once. Blood was involved.

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  11. I hope you're feeling okay! I've seen quite a few people fall or bump into things due to checking out their phones. Those are the mishaps that can be avoided, right? Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, they certainly can be avoided. Many people can be just be frustratingly slow while staring at the phones, rather than putting themselves at risk.

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  12. I'm quite sure the falls must be due to people looking at their phones. I always hang on for dear life if the escalator is too long/steep and lean slightly forward just in case. I think the worst on escalators are the people that get off and just mingle there not allowing others the space to get off...

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    1. Sami, Christmas, Myer, Chadstone, twenty years plus years ago, very busy. Escalator crowded, a big pile up at the bottom. It was very dangerous. People need to move on. Often now crowds on escalators are 'steered away' at the bottom.

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  13. First to your comments on my post.
    First things first...I had to count the photos to find that the hot dude was John!! He'll be pleased with that compliment.

    How hot? Not as hot as you are getting. Ha Ha just realized how funny this is in context of above sentence.

    Temps during the day around 27 C but no humidity and it can be quite windy along the ocean recently.

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    1. Jackie, everyone likes a bit of admiration, and he is good for his age. Yes, very funny, haha.

      27 without humidity sounds pretty good.

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  14. Now to escalators. I have a mortal fear of down escalators. I will stand in panic waiting to put my foot on it. If I have something like a suitcase with e, it is even worse. I have been known to make John go down first and then come back for my suitcase.
    I was with a friend in a mall, very early on a Sunday, and we watched a woman step on and fall, her long hair trailing behind her as it moved up. We scrambled to find the stop button just in time and my friend ran up and helped the woman up, she then ran off before security could get there.

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    1. Jackie, suitcases on escalators can be very dangerous. Some airports have signs banning them, but no one takes any notice. There have been some truly hideous accidents on escalators, but they are a good bit safer now.

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  15. I noticed the warning signs at Parliament yesterday.

    If people are careless and distracted by the phones (or do other stupid things) then the consequences are on them...I'd be more concerned for the other commuters that are taken out by the tumbling body.

    I was at Frankfurt airport standing behind a woman who had decided (very stupidly) to push her bags trolly onto the travellator. It reached the top and she couldn't push the trolley off. Both she and her bags fell backwards...towards me. I instinctively had to step aside and let her fall past me (otherwise I would have been taken out as well). I was then able to help her up and get her bags and trolley off. She hobbled away in pain.

    By the way...I find the Parliament escalator speed to be way too slow.

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    1. Ad Rad, I have been hit by a workmate falling down stairs. He was a very solid, tall and muscular Malaysian. I think I came off worse. I remind him frequently of the time he nearly killed me. Indeed you were right to step aside. You can't help others if you are taken out. The City Loop escalators used to speed up for the peak hours, but yes, during the day they are painfully slow.

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  16. I don't get how people could fall on them either, unless you are right, maybe when staring at a phone. It used to be a big deal for us, when children, to ride up on an escalator. I still love them.

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    1. Strayer, I used to love seeing a plane in the sky. It was as rare as a ride on escalator. As for helicopters, wow. Such things don't amuse young people at all, as they have grown up with them.

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