Friday 17 September 2021 8:40 am

People falling off escalators over fear of catching Covid-19 sends TfL injuries up

London Underground bosses have warned that people falling off escalators due to not holding on to the handrail over fears of catching Covid-19 is one of the biggest safety risks facing the network.

Since the lifting of lockdown restrictions earlier this year the number of accidents of this type has soared due to the “perception that [handrails] are not clean’, Andy Lord, the managing director of the London Underground, told a safety panel.

He added that the return of boozy revellers to London’s streets was the other big safety challenge facing the operator.

“The two biggest risks we have are falls on escalators caused by people who don’t hold the handrail. There is an issue with the perception that the handrail is not clean because of the pandemic”, Lord said, in comments reported by the Telegraph.

“The other bigger issue is actually intoxication. We have seen a significant spike as the various stages of lockdown have been reduced, with particular spikes initially on Thursday and Friday evenings and then weekends.”

His comments came after TfL published a safety report showing that the number of customers injured per million passenger journeys was currently “above our target”. 

“The rate of injuries which happened on stairs and escalators have remained relatively high. There has also been a slight uplift in the rate of injuries where intoxication was a factor, compared to the preceding quarter”, it added.

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