KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will propose additional safety features for escalators to prevent the possibility of feet getting trapped in them, especially among children.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said these features would include a buffer between the side of the escalator and the steps to prevent feet or shoes being caught in between.
“When parents with children ride the escalator, they do not have the time to look left or right, of course parents have to be careful, but the additional safety features can help prevent accidents,” she said.
She was speaking to reporters after visiting Dzil Mikhail Nasaruddin, four, whose left foot was partly severed after it was trapped in an escalator at KL Sentral on Monday.
Mikhail lost part of his mid-foot after attempts to re-attach it failed, and he is now being treated at the Paediatric Ward at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Rohani also urged shopping mall managements to conduct more checks on their escalators to ensure that they were safe and operated well.
She said they should also be responsible in providing the necessary reminders to parents and other users on safety measures when using the escalators.
On the incident, Rohani said the ministry was waiting for a report from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) which was investigating the cause of the incident.
She said the ministry would provide assistance, including counselling to Dzil Mikhail and his parents who are still traumatised by Monday’s incident.
“Besides hospital treatment, we will also provide the parents with counselling sessions from time to time so that they would not blame themselves over what happened,” she said.
She added that Dzil’s parents were also advised to register their only child with the Department of Welfare Services as a handicapped person so that he could gain from the various benefits available.
She added that parents and the public should take note of the incident and be more careful and alert so that it did not happen again.
Kuala Lumpur Hospital director, Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain said Dzil Mikhail will undergo skin grafting after his wounds healed.
“After treatment, the child will undergo rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions,” she said.
She added that the treatment would be long-term in nature so that Dzil could walk properly despite the injury to his foot.