HARRISBURG – Legislation improving elevator safety across the state has been sent to the governor to be signed into law after the House overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 934 today.
Sens. Lisa Baker (R-20th) and John Yudichak (D-14th) introduced the measure, known as “Kristopher’s Law,” following the loss of Luzerne County Corrections Officer Kristopher D. Moules. He and an inmate died following an altercation and subsequent fall down an elevator shaft at the Luzerne County Prison in 2016.
Calling him, “a natural leader and motivator who lived a life of service to others,” Sen. Baker shared her personal connection to Kris Moules, who was a baseball teammate and college roommate of her son Carson.
While the Department of Labor and Industry is responsible for administering and enforcing elevator safety standards in Pennsylvania, the current board rarely meets and has very little power.
“Nominal oversight, rarely exercised, provides flimsy public protection, so this measure represents a significant modernization,” she added. “Assumed safety is proving dangerous, and that is unacceptable.”
The bill creates an Elevator Safety Board that will conduct a monthly review of issues related to elevator construction, maintenance and inspection. The body will also have regulatory authority, including the ability to grant exceptions and variances to existing codes, and membership will include those with expertise in the safe operation of elevators.
“The approval of this important elevator safety and modernization bill by the House honors Officer Kris Moules’ memory. By creating an Elevator Safety Board in the Department of Labor & Industry, there will be more oversight for safer elevator operations in order to prevent accidents that could cause injury or the loss of life,” said Yudichak.
Andrew M. Seder (Sen. Baker)