Escalators have brought comfort and ease to a lot of people, especially to those who carry a lot of heavy baggage, which is why it is often found in airports, supermarkets, and malls. A type of escalator is a moving walkway. Also known as a walkalator, travelator or horizontal escalator, a moving walkway is a slow conveyor belt which transports people and their luggage (usually through an escalator trolley) horizontally or on a small incline so they can reach higher or lower floor level.
There are two types of moving walkways:
- Pallet type â This type of walkway consists of a series of flat aluminum or metal pallets. There are also two models of pallet: NPT (public applications) and NCT (commercial applications). Both models have an optional outdoor package.
- Moving belt â Walkways built either with metal belt or rubber over metal rollers. Moving belt type may feel rubbery and bouncy to the person riding on it, but may also have a solid feel.
An escalator is a kind of common carrier, which is defined as "people or companies that carry passengers and goods from one place to another, and are used by the general public." Aside from a high standard of care that they should maintain, common carriers also cannot discriminate and refuse service to anyone.
Since a moving walkway is a type of escalator, it is also then considered as a common carrier. It is written in law that the operators of these carriers should be diligent in keeping the users of their service safe.
Despite the standard of care however, accidents on escalators and moving walkways occasionally occur, especially to those who use trolleys. That is because if the trolley is not secured on the walkway, it may slide down due to gravity and crash, which can possibly hurt someone and cause damage to the property.
Escalator trolley accident may be avoided by placing some safety features on elevators and walkways.
- Anti-slide devices â Also called "hockey pucks", these devices are found on the balustrade and prevent riders from sliding down the metallic surface.
- Combplate impact switches â These stop the escalator from operating if an object gets caught between the step and the combplate.
- Deflector brush â They are usually found on the side of escalators, above step level. They prevent items from getting caught on the gap between the steps and skirt board.
- Emergency stop button â May be found at each end or at the balustrade, this button will stop the elevator during an emergency.
The safety of the user
starts with them. People should also learn to follow safety notices and the
proper use of escalators and walkways to avoid such accidents from happening.