Staircases are an important part of all structures with one or more upper or lower floors. Without it, you cannot reach the attic, basement, or the 20th floor of a high-rise building. For the last one, you can use an elevator of course. But it can be a problem if the elevator is broken and you have no choice but to go the other route.
There are many types of staircases. This includes popular ones such as straight stairs, L-shaped stairs, split stairs, and a helical staircase. Each stair type has a distinct design, appearance, and purpose. Choosing the right staircase also depends on your structural needs.
However, stairs are also one of the most disregarded parts of the house or a building. We simply use it when we want to go to another floor, but it can be a potential safety hazard. The improper use and installation of staircases can lead to accidental falls, injuries, and even death in the worst cases.
That said, it is important to practice safety when using the stairs. Likewise, builders and contractors should also ensure that the stairs are built in compliance with the local building and safety standards. You may also be charged with negligence if a visitor or a tenant accidentally falls from the stairs that are inside your home or building.
Common causes of stair-related injuries
For one thing, accidents involving the use of stairs can cause body pains and injuries. Stair incidents are also said to be the second leading cause of bodily injuries, next to vehicular accidents, as per National Safety Council.
Worse, it can lead to fatal consequences and even trauma on the victim. Among common causes of stairs-related injuries include:
- Slippery stairway steps (e.g., Spilt water or oil, loose carpet or rug)
- Damaged or missing stairway steps
- Items left loose on the stairway steps that can cause tripping (e.g., A toy car, a small ball, etc.)
- Poor lighting on the stair area
Keeping safe when using the stairs
Most stairs usually have three major components: a landing platform, steps or risers, and handrails. When using the stairs, it is important to use the handrails when climbing up or down. It is also important to pay attention to every step on the stairs. Make sure not to use loose footwear or socks when climbing the stairs as it can cause accidental slipping.
Other safety steps you need to remember when using the stairs include the following:
- Make sure there are no obstructing objects along with the stair steps such as toys, loose rugs, or even pets. Never use the stairs even as temporary storage.
- Don’t make it a habit to run while using the stairs. Take your time — you will eventually get to the other side.
- Avoid using your phone or anything that will distract you while using the stairs. Keep your eyes where you are going so you won’t trip or fall down the stairs.
- Install lighting that will make the staircase area well-lit and as danger-free as possible.
A lot of users take stairs for granted. However, it can cause accidents and injuries if you are not careful about using it. You should follow the above tips to ensure safety every time you use the stairs.