Identifying Staircase Dangers

man fell from icy steps

Staircase Safety Tips

Each year, thousands of emergency room visits are caused by staircase dangers. In some cases, poor lighting or shoddy maintenance is to blame. In others, wet or slippery surfaces are to blame. 

In any case, the consequences can be serious, especially for the elderly. In this article, we will investigate the nature of these staircase dangers and the injuries they can cause. We will also discuss how to prevent them from happening.

Incidence of Slips, Trips, and Falls

Every year, nine million people fall. Fall-related hospitalizations total about 800,000 per year, and approximately 95 percent of hip fractures result from falls. Traumatic brain injuries are also common in fall victims. 

Additionally, nearly 300,000 elderly individuals go to the hospital every year, with one of every four of them falling. These statistics have an enormous effect on individuals and communities. No doubt slips and falls are a leading cause of severe injuries.

Landlords or Business Owners Have a Duty to Others

A landlord or a business owner has a responsibility to tenants, visitors and customers. Keeping staircase dangers at a minimum is one of the ways they can prevent accidents. The precautions we describe below can achieve that goal. If they are not followed and someone is injured due to negligence, a premises liability lawsuit can be filed.

What Makes Some People More Likely to Fall Down a Staircase?

Staircase falls are a risk for everyone, but some people are more likely to be hurt than others. The following conditions predispose you to this:

  • Shoes that are not fitted properly
  • An insufficient intake of vitamin D
  • Balance and walking difficulties
  • Vision problems
  • Workplace or home hazards
  • Stairs that are poorly maintained
  • Balance-affecting medications

Staircase Dangers Include Poor Step Visibility

People who use a staircase tend to focus on and examine the first step and the last three steps. The remaining steps between those are automatically negotiated. The top and bottom steps should be the focus of safety precautions. Here are some ideas:

  • Use a different color for the top surface of the steps, such as yellow.
  • If the staircase is not well-lit, adding low-placed lighting will help.

Keeping the Steps Well Lit Reduces Staircase Dangers

The person climbing the staircase may be able to see each step but not the risers between them. Make sure there is adequate lighting to address this issue. You can add small lights to each stairwell to highlight the steps. Wear and tear may cause worn step colors and lights to malfunction over time.

Assistive Devices to Prevent Staircase Dangers

The absence of handrails or stair guards can make climbing a staircase difficult for some people. These can both give climbers something to hold on to and make a great deal of difference for those with difficulty navigating the steps. It is impossible for a person to fall off the open side of the staircase with guardrails in place. As a general rule, handrails should extend the entire length of a staircase and be placed on the closed side. 

Travis Law Is the Firm You Can Trust

Our goal at Travis Law is to ensure our clients’ cases are successfully resolved. We also consider the physical and mental trauma they may be going through. If you are injured due to staircase dangers, it is possible to file a premises liability lawsuit.

Call Travis Law 24/7 to schedule a free case review. We will go over your case and answer any questions you may have. Just reach out to us at (814) 277-2222 or contact us online