Dangerous Japanese Escalators

It wasn’t long ago that elevators in Japan were hit by all manner of scandals, whether it was substandard steel, entrapment or even crushing, it was the “cool” thing in the news at the time. Everything has its turn on Japanese news. They even play scary music during the news reports to heighten the danger. The topic usually changes each month when it loses its entertainment value, but we’ve had foreign crime, food scandals, drink driving, and school suicides to name a few.

This time, Japanese escaltors are in the spotlight. How could these well maintained, slow moving, automatic staircases be so evil? Read this:

Boys head gets stuck between the wall and the escalatorA 9-year-old boy was seriously injured Tuesday at a supermarket in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, when his head became trapped against an overhanging wall while ascending on an escalator, police said. The boy accidentally dropped some coins over the hand rail. When he leaned out to look for them, his head became stuck between the wall and the railing. [Source: Japan Today]

Of course, this might have just been a freak accident, but no! Japanese escaltors are evil! Why? Because they have also sucked up dozens of pairs of Crocs rubber shoes or similar, this year alone! Yep, they are out to get you!

Crocs gets eaten by escalatorsThe news show I watched this evening, accompanied by the usual scary music, went into great depth to point out the dangers of these evil escalators. They tested different sizes of polystyrene “head” leaning over the rails, and even forced a rubber shoe down the side of the escalator, proving that these are people-eating machines! To add to the terror, experts were called in to testify that these escalators are a menace to society, and the blame rests solely on the manufacturers and the department stores that don’t highlight the dangers to their customers.

This is typical of the Japanese media, and probably that of any country, but it seems way over the top to me. I prefer to consider the millions of people that ride these escalators every day, and then wonder what percentage of them have accidents? Maybe 0.000000001% or something like that?

Sometimes, people should be responsible for their own safety. Don’t lean over an escalator rail, and don’t get too close to the edge of a step. If you’re a parent, point out the dangers to your kids and keep an eye on them when they’re riding the escalator. Accidents can happen, but they can also be avoided with a little vigilance.

Remember: The scary music is there because the news is just a form of entertainment, okay? Don’t let the “news” take our kids’ favorite shoes away! Stand up for Crocs!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Dangerous Japanese Escalators

  1. Why should we be responsible for our own actions when we can blame others for our inabilities? The poetic justice of cause and effect is a wonderful thing, but it can seem magical when we just don’t look at potential consequences 😛

    I’m waiting for one of those slow news months where they blame chickens for not making “drop-resistant eggs”. Heaven forbid we blame ourselves for dropping food on the floor!

  2. Here in Australia, there is one set of escalators at my local shopping mall that must be very hazardous as they have posted a security guard who looks at your footwear as you’re about to go on and if you are wearing sandals or similar, he will tell you quite sternly to ‘hold onto the rail and do not walk’!!! I guess the fear of litigation the problem!

  3. Hmmm I should write something about how http://www.michaelmckinlay.com is really dangerous and then send it in a press release to the japanese media! then maybe i would get some more attention for it! I wonder if I could also include some spooky music just to heighten the urgency of it all!

    I wonder if Canadian escalators are the killers that their Japanese counterparts are… I mean they are all related, and this murderous streak must surely run through the family!

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