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What are the fall risks related to stairways?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Slip-and-fall Accidents

Stairs lead to many falls resulting in injuries and deaths. Over seven million people seek care in the emergency room each year due to falls on stairs.

There are a few reasons why stairs are a major fall risk. Mostly, the issues related to their construction or design and usage issues.

Construction or design problems

Some stairs may not be up to current codes. Those in older homes, for example, are often too narrow to allow for proper footing, which increases the chances of a slip and fall. They also may not meet other codes, such as having handrails or a design that prevents them from being too steep. Stairwells also need proper lighting to avoid accidents, which some may be missing. Safe stairs should have traction built-in. When steps are missing this feature, they can more easily contribute to falls.

Usage issues

The way people use stairs can also increase the chances of a slip and fall. Older individuals are more at risk in these situations. They may have trouble judging step height or miss a step, which leads to bad footing and a fall.

Sometimes, stairs wear down, making them slippery or removing safeguards meant to prevent slips and falls.

Even though the elderly are at the highest risk of falls on stairs, everyone could suffer such an accident. Misstepping is a common problem that leads to falls, and even younger individuals can fall victim. Building owners or homeowners should make sure their stairs are safe and kept up to building codes to prevent a fall risk.