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Factors that contribute to dangerous stairs

| Nov 22, 2018 | Firm News, personal injury

Kentucky business owners and property owners should pay attention to a potential cause of personal injury that may be lurking on their properties. Cove Risk explains that the third leading factor of people dying unintentionally in the United States, according to the National Safety Council, is from falls. So anyone who owns or maintains a property should look to their stairs as a possible cause for injury and consider how to make them safer.

To reduce the likelihood of someone taking a fall on your steps, you need to understand what causes stairs to be unsafe. Generally, problems arise when your steps are not stable or possess surfaces that cannot secure people as they ascend or descend. Stairs should also provide clear paths for people to traverse. Here are some of the factors that may contribute to an unsafe set of steps:

Damaged Steps

Damaged steps are a major contributor to falls. Strong steps are needed to support your feet. Conversely, a stair with a dislodged portion forms a gap that your foot could fall through and make you take a spill. You can also trip on a faulty stair tread. Wooden steps could weaken due to cracks or splinters.

Uneven Steps

Each of your steps should possess the same depth and be the same size. You cannot expect people to look down every time they take a step. People will assume that each step will rise or descend the same and will drop or raise their feet accordingly. But if a step is too shallow or too deep, someone could miss an anticipated landing and fall.

Wet Steps

Whether a recent rainstorm has taken place or it is a snowy Kentucky winter, there are many ways for people to track water and snow all over your steps and form dangerous trip hazards. To combat wet steps, come up with a plan to clean off your stairs regularly. A way to reduce wet on your steps is to have mats available for patrons and employees to wipe their feet before using the stairs.

Cluttered Steps

The Family Handyman points out that people may set something down on a step while intending to take it up later. Stairs may be magnets for people to store materials temporarily, but this can morph into a dangerous practice, resulting in cluttered stairs where people trip and fall over the discarded items. Basically, stairs should never be used for storage, even if for a short time.