Stair safety is something that should not be overlooked in the workplace mainly because stairs themselves pose a significant risk to your workforce. Taking action is not only needed in order to lower potential hazards in order to keep your staff and customers safe but also is important because you, as a business, have a legal obligation to keep them safe. RIDDOR analysis consistently shows that reports of falling on stairs continue to be one of the most common causes of low fall incidents with the service industries being the most prevalent. We take a look at what can be done to improve stair safety in order to keep accidents via trips and falls to a minimum.
Ensure that stairways are well lit, if adequate lighting is not available then the risk of trips and falls will be increased dramatically. To improve visibility increase the amount of natural light or alternatively add sufficient artificial lighting solutions. Adding contrasting colour also makes the stairs as a hazard easier to see.
Adding handrails to busy stairs not only enables your workforce to anchor themselves whilst travelling up or down the stairs but also makes stairs prone to wet floor much more manageable. Studies have shown that a large proportion of falls can be prevented by having the option to grab hold of a handrail when you lose your footing. The HSE suggest where possible “a secure and substantial handrail should be provided and maintained on at least one side of every staircase”.
Cater For Disabilities
Those employees that are not as able bodied as others due to health reasons including physical disability could pose more of a risk whilst using the stairs. It is important to do a specific risk assessment in order to look for ways of modifying stairs to make them as safe as possible for the individual. A popular modification for employees with mobility issues is to ensure there are two handrails each side as this can help greatly with stability when negotiating stairways.
Ensuring the appropriate flooring material on your stairs is a must. Stairs need sufficient grip in order for people to be able to move up and down them easily. If the stairs are likely to suffer from spills from liquids then a material that has good grip when wet is a must. If you are not sure whether the material on your stairs is adequate then get a professional in to test the slip resistance.
If you require help risk assessing your stairs or would like to check that the material is sufficient for your workforce and industry needs then why not get in touch with the team at National Testing today.