| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 30, 1997
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVES PROPOSAL BY ESCALATOR INDUSTRY TO DEVELOP IMPROVED SAFETY STANDARDS
Washington, D.C. The Department of Justice today approved a proposal by the National Elevator Industry Inc., a trade association of escalator manufacturers and installers, to try to develop an improved escalator safety standard.
The Department said that National Elevator's efforts to develop a new escalator safety standard would not harm competition in the industry because competitively sensitive information would not be exchanged, and other parties not affiliated with the association would be allowed to participate in the standard making process.
Some escalator accidents result from the victim catching a foot or article of clothing between the escalator step tread and the adjacent step skirt panel. In response to concern raised by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and others about such accidents, National Elevator will work with an independent consultant to develop a more comprehensive escalator safety standard to reduce the incidence of escalator accidents.
If satisfied with the newly-developed safety standard, National Elevator would submit it to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to be reviewed and adopted as part of their safety code for escalators. All interested parties may comment on the Society's standard making procedures.
Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division said that since "NEII's proposed joint venture to establish a new escalator performance safety standard will neither involve the exchange of any competitively significant information nor be designed to disadvantage non-members, it should not, in itself, raise competitive concerns."
The Department's position was stated in a business review letter from Klein to counsel for National Elevator Industry Inc. Under the Department's Business Review Procedure, an organization may submit a proposed action to the Antitrust Division and receive a statement as to whether the Division will challenge the action under the antitrust laws.
A file containing the business review request and the Department's response may be examined in the Legal Procedure Unit of the Antitrust Division, Suite 215, Liberty Place, 325 7th Street, N.W., Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20004. After a 30-day period, the documents supporting the business review will be added to the file.