Toolbox Meeting 16 -- JUMPERS

A few years ago in a city in upstate New York a tragedy occurred. The mechanic who had been working on an elevator put the unit back in service with the doors and gates jumped out.

The elevator was in the lobby with the doors open. A man and his wife rushed to get on as other passengers held the doors open. The woman got on but as the man leaned in the car went up. In one horrible instant the passengers witnessed the man being crushed in half and dying.

When we hear of a tragedy our natural reaction is to distance ourselves. We try to convince ourselves that this could never happen to us. "A person must be stupid or a fool to do such a thing."

Ask any mechanic or helper and they will tell you: "Never jump out the gate and door at the same time and always remove all jumpers before returning a unit to service. We all know this knowledge is not enough! A realization that we are humans and subject to mental lapse is imperative.

Have you ever had to run back in to your house from your car because you forgot something? Did you ever forget to take an elevator off inspection when you were putting it back in service? These little mental lapses that we all experience can result in accidents.

I am including some recommendations to help prevent jumper accidents. I have added these little tricks to my routine. They help me during these times when I am under stress, not feeling well or my mind is wandering.

1. Clip jumpers are not diagnostic tools; they should never be used in place of a meter.
2. Store your clip jumpers in a particular place. This way you know their location and they won't get damaged.
3. Each time jumpers are used they should be inspected for damage.
4. Carry a minimum amount of jumpers. Doing safety tests and pressure relief tests I have never needed more than four jumpers.
5. Each jumper should be a different color. This way you will notice if one is missing. Jumpers of the same blend together like worms.
6. Use little reminders when using jumpers. I have don't forget signs on the exit door of all my machine rooms.
7. On construction or service jobs jumpers may be for long periods of time.
A. Make sure the jumpers really stand out. Make them of bright colors and loop them so they look ugly.
B. Make a list of all jumpers and post the list for all to see. When a jumper is removed, take it off the list.

Credit: Bud Johnson,

For more information read Section 6 - Proper use of Jumpers -in the Elevator Industry Field Employees' Safety Handbook