Reducing the Risk of Staircase Accidents

Woman jogging up the stairsStaircase slips, trips, and falls can result in serious injury and even death. It’s therefore important that all stairs have safety features and have the right design and dimensions. According to many websites such as, here are some easy ways of lowering the risk of falls on stairs.

1. Suitable Riser and Tread Design

Most people view the first and last three steps and negotiate the rest of the stairway without looking. You should, therefore, pay attention to the design of the bottom three and top three steps in the staircase. Make sure all treads and risers are visible, and their dimensions are uniform throughout the stairway. Also, have an intermediate landing if your stairway has more than 12 steps.

2. Make Sure Stairs Are Well Lit

When thinking about lighting for your staircase, pay attention to design, construction and desired effect. Verify that the stairway is correctly illuminated but without glare.

3. Install Handrails

A large percentage of accidental falls from staircases are a result of an absence of handrails. Without the rails, some would be unable to keep their balance when ascending or descending stairs. Install highly visible handrails on both sides of your stairs at a suitable height with a colour that contrasts with the surroundings.

4. Proper Maintenance and Use

Using non-slip surfaces on staircases can help prevent accidents. Also, keeping the steps clean and in top condition could prevent further accidents. Repair any missing or loose steps and torn or loose carpet coverings immediately. Always keep your stairs clear and discourage rushing up or down the stairs.

5. Reconsider Short Stairways

Research indicates that a significant number of falls occur on stairs with one, two, or three steps. To prevent “air step” falls, reconsider low stairways or remodel them into ramps.

Stairways slips, trips, and falls are usually a result of a combination of faults in design and deficiencies in lighting, visibility and attention. Accordingly, accidents can be easily prevented if staircases are properly designed, maintained, and used.