I won’t mention the name of the site, but here are some pictures from last Thursday night that had cleaning staff using a stick/sponge type cleaning system which caused a pile up by managing to force the combs into the steps! The member of staff was very lucky not to have lost a limb or worse! Six + steps broken, guide rails bent, comb plates smashed, brush guard bent, a very expensive repair, and a very lucky member of staff!!

The staff were forcing the system into the treads of the steps, which on a moving mechanical step band is an accident waiting to happen. Safety is of utmost importance at ESD, all of our staff staff have attained the OTIS AllSafe accreditation for working on escalators safety, they have to pass an annual safety test along with on site safety audits by Otis to ensure standards are met. In our 20+ years of being in the escalator business,(we also have a major UK escalators parts & refurbishment business) we have seen every type of system there is for cleaning escalators, and this is one that we had identified as a potentially dangerous system in the wrong hands, because we know how the escalators work and where any problems can be, especially where the steps mesh with the combs. We have robust systems in place, risk assessments that are scrutinised by the main escalator companies, along with the best purpose made escalator cleaning machinery there is are carry out the works safely.

Escalator Damage

Sponge system damage

Escalator cleaning damage

Heres an ESD post from September last year warning about this type of system!

Escalator Cleaning, Gone Wrong!!


Were the staff adequately trained?

What working on escalators safety accreditation do they have?

Would this system be passed by any of the main Escalator manufactures risk assessment as safe to use?

What does the cleaning company risk assessment say?

Were they cleaning against the direction of travel?

Is there a safer way to carry out this function? – YES