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Safety Switch Was Not Functioning On Elevator That Killed Worker

An elevator inspector discovered the stop switch for the elevator where a worker died Monday was not functioning properly.

State Elevator Inspector Kathleen Cain found that the stop switch was in the correct position to prevent the elevator from moving. But she determined the switch was not working.

Ohio's Chief Elevator Inspector Norman Martin said, "the device was not functioning at all in either position."

Martin said the stop switch was working when the elevator was inspected April 2.

Oracle Elevator worker James Higgins was prepping an elevator to haul furniture at the former Holiday Inn on Lane Avenue when he was killed.

Elevator investigators found devices called electrical jumpers on the elevator that killed Higgins. Martin said electrical jumpers can stop electricity from flowing to certain parts of the elevator, like safety switches, depending on how the jumpers are placed. He said the jumpers were not on the elevator during the April 2 inspection.

Martin said there is likely a correlation between the jumpers and the malfunctioning safety switch. But he said inspectors will have to take another look at the layout of the elevator to determine if there could be another cause.

Elevator inspectors do not know if Higgins placed the jumpers on the elevator.

The Occupational Safety and Health Agency is also looking into the incident. They have six months to file a report.

The former Holiday Inn recently closed to be converted into Ohio State dorms.