PHOTO: Elevator

OLYMPIA, Wash. - In August, a 30-year-old New York City man was killed when the high-rise city apartment elevator he was exiting unexpectedly fell, pinning him between the basement and first floor, crushing him to death.

While the situation may seem scary, injuries or deaths in elevators are extremely rare; in fact, you're more likely to die taking the stairs.

Even so, elevator inspections are vital, and here in Washington state, inspections are woefully behind schedule.

According to the state Department of Labor and Industries, there are 18,000 elevators, escalators and lifts in Washington State. More than 9,500 of them haven't been inspected in years.

There are about 3,000 that are two years overdue, 2,200 that are three years overdue, 1,600 that are four years overdue, 1,300 that are five years overdue, 1,400 that are 10 years overdue, and 3 that are more than 10 years overdue.

According to an Audit by Labor and Industries, the reason why they're so far behind schedule is because there aren't enough inspectors.

The recommendation to fix the back log of inspections is simple: hire more inspectors.

There is a website you can visit to find out if a conveyor near you has been inspected recently. Click here to be directed to the website which lists the inspections of public conveyors.

The City of Spokane has its own inspection service for privately-owned conveyors. You can click here to be directed to the website.