Because this matter is in litigation, we are unable to discuss it at this time. Generally speaking, however, the County engages an elevator contractor to provide preventative maintenance to prevent this type of thing and to intervene promptly when it does occur so that anyone inside can be let out as soon as possible. We've had 14 cases at the RJC where riders were stuck in the last two years – during a time when we had up to 3 million elevator trips. Our safety record is excellent, especially when you consider that our elevators at the RJC are making up to 6,000 trips per day and 1.5 million trips a year.
Since the RJC opened there has only been one citizen claim of an injury connected with elevator operation. The citizen, who claimed to have tripped and fallen in the elevator, was referred to the elevator maintenance contractor where the claim was resolved.
Among our employees, over the last 2 years, we've only recorded 2 injuries. In one case, a door shut on someone's arm and she was slightly injured. In another case, someone tripped over something in front of an elevator and hurt her knees and an arm.
The County maintains a full-service contract with Otis Elevator Company, which specializes in elevator maintenance and repair. The requirements in these contracts are not only robust but precise about the kinds of inspections, maintenance and repairs that must be made and when. The County staff managing these contracts have regular bi-weekly meetings to ensure that the requirements of the contract are being met. We require that the Otis staff be fully qualified and certified to maintain equipment properly and up to industry standards and up to state of Nevada performance requirements. There are rigorous work plans in place and company staff must provide responsible preventative maintenance, including equipment exams, cleaning, lubrication and adjustments, repairs and replacement wherever needed. If ever there are any threats to safety, they are required to render elevators non-operable and notify us immediately.
Our practice had been to report accidents to OSHA. This incident caused us to review the requirements and have changed that. We now report not just accidents, but repairs as well. "Accidents," as defined by Nevada Administrative Code, are those that "cause serious bodily injury."
- Erik Pappa, Clark County Director of Public Communications