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Elevator Safety and Social Distancing FAQs and Recommendations for Businesses

Q. What steps can I take to prevent potential spread through shared elevators?

A.

If you have elevators in your facility, there are things you should do to limit the risk of spread. You can take steps to encourage people to use the stairs as far as possible and particularly when elevator lobbies are crowded. 

You can install floor markings and decals in lobbies and inside elevators to reinforce physical distancing and guide people about where they must stand. 

Limiting the number of people inside the elevator at a time can also help.

You may install stanchions to create and promote the use of one-way passageways. People should be asked to eliminate/minimize surface touching and use an object such as a toothpick or their elbows to operate elevator buttons. 

Additionally, you should also repeatedly remind people about the importance of wearing face masks and washing their hands frequently, especially after touching elevator buttons or other similar surfaces. Installing a simple sanitizing station inside/outside the elevator will promote hand hygiene.

Q. How can I ensure people stand at a sufficient distance inside elevators?

A.

Our anti-skid vinyl floor signs and markers have been designed precisely to achieve this goal. These come with a permanent adhesive backing and last you a long time. 

Opt for our highly visible SlipSafe footprints to indicate where occupants should stand. You may also choose our SlipSafe floor signs that convey the elevator’s carrying capacity. 

In addition to these, use our wall signs to remind people about the social distancing practices to be followed. 

Q. Is it safe to use elevators during the Covid-19 pandemic?

A.

Due to the confined space and the crowding potential associated with elevators, it is a better idea to use stairs as far as possible. When elevators cannot be avoided, you should exercise certain precautions to stay safe. Do not ride a crowded elevator and maintain as much distance from others as possible. Follow the capacity guideline that most buildings with elevators have adopted and ensure you stand on the marked spots only both inside the elevator as well as when you are waiting for your turn. 


Avoid touching the elevator buttons or handrails directly but use a toothpick, tissue, or wear gloves. These things may not always be available at the establishment, hence, it’s a good idea to carry these along. Refrain from touching surfaces unless necessary, and remember to wash or sanitize your hands after the ride.

Q. Are there any CDC guidelines specific to elevator usage?

A.

While the CDC hasn’t issued any separate guidelines for elevators, its elevator specific recommendations can be found in Covid-19 employer information for office buildings. These recommendations include encouraging the use of stairs, requiring elevator occupants to wear face coverings, and discouraging in-elevator conversations. 

Employers should also use stanchions in elevator lobbies to create one-way pathways and install appropriate signage markers to implement physical distancing and request occupants to avoid touching surfaces as far as possible, refrain from touching their face, and wash their hands. 

Q. How can crowding be prevented inside elevators?

A.

Crowding inside elevators can turn into a breeding ground for the extremely infectious virus. It can be prevented by being proactive, aware, and cautious. When possible, you should take the stairs or use escalators while maintaining an adequate gap from others. When using an elevator, you should follow the policies and rules implemented in the elevator building and refrain from entering a crowded elevator. Follow the occupancy rule, stand at designated spots, and politely ask others to do the same.

Businesses/facility managers can prevent crowding in elevators by ensuring their social distancing policies are clearly communicated to visitors with the help of conspicuously placed social distancing signs. They should encourage the use of stairs and/or escalators over elevators, create well-demarcated one ways to guide the flow of traffic, and provide adequate hygiene and disinfectant supplies without disruption. 

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