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Bill focused on elevator safety standards signed into law

Sen. Lisa Baker, Kitty Moules, Sen. John Yudichak and others involved in the crafting of SB 934 look on as Gov. Tom Wolf signs an elevator safety bill into law. The legislation creates an Elevator Safety Board and memorializes the life of Luzerne County Corrections Officer Kristopher Moules, Kitty’s son, who died two years ago.

HARRISBURG — A bill focused on elevator safety standards was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday.

The legislation stems from an incident at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in June 2016 where prison guard Kristopher Moules, 25, and an inmate fell to their deaths after crashing through an elevator door during a physical altercation.

“Any assault within a prison warrants investigation into possible weaknesses in procedures and precautions. But there was something more here. The circumstances showed a flaw in the law pertaining to elevator safety. With a surge of community advocacy, we passed remedial legislation,” Sen. Lisa Baker said. “This is an occasion cloaked in sadness, because of the young man of character and courage who we lost. But there is a measure of consolation that steps have been taken to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.”

The bill creates an Elevator Safety Board that will review issues related to elevator construction, maintenance and inspection on a monthly basis, according to a news release. The board will also have the ability to grant exceptions and variances to existing elevator safety codes, plus membership, those with expertise in the safe operation of elevators, the release added.

“Kristopher’s Law modernizes Pennsylvania’s elevator safety standards and memorializes the heroic life of Luzerne County Corrections Officer Kristopher Moules by reminding us that a hero remembered never dies,” Sen. John Yudichak said.