You Probably Never Noticed All The Things That Can Be Dangerous On Stairs
What’s the safest way to get to the next floor above you? We all have seen movies where people get stuck in elevators. That escalator looks like it has a lot of moving parts that could fail. But good old trusty stairs are always safe. Or are they?
Of course, stars are generally safe, but they can also be dangerous when they aren’t properly constructed and maintained, and there are a lot of personal injury cases that happen when safety measures on stairwells aren’t followed.
Step Depth and Width
Many building codes require that each step on stairs be the same height and depth. When you are going up and down stairs, your body braces itself for impact when it expects the next stair to be underneath your foot. When stairs have varying depths, your body isn’t ready for impact, and you can severely injure legs, knees and ankles.
There is often some allowance for slight variation in step height and depth–but not enough that it would make a difference in our minds.
Many building codes also say that stair depth not only has to be the same from step to step, but that there is a maximum depth of a step; that’s why you rarely ever have to take a gigantic, uncomfortable step up or down. Usually, most codes say that stairs must have about a 7-8 inch depth (step up or step down) from step to step.
The width of the step must be wide enough as well, to keep your foot from sliding or slipping off of them. But they also can’t be so wide, that you have to take too large of a step to get to the next step.
Handrails are required on almost all kinds of stairwells but those handrails have to be a specific height. They also must be secured to hold a given amount of weight; most codes require they handle about 200 pounds of pressure.
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t check handrails, and handrails over time can be dislodged after repeated use, and become unstable.
Sometimes, the handrails will stop before the stairs do–this is another dangerous condition. This often happens when the business owner adds a few stairs, but doesn’t alter or extend the handrail.
Edging on Steps
Did you ever notice that most stairways have striping on the edges of the stairs that are usually a brighter color? That is required, and it is so that you can perceive where the steps end. Stairwells are usually the same flooring or the same material. That means that one step can blend into the other in your mind or in your peripheral vision.
That bright strip is what tells you where the step ends, and keeps the steps from “blending in” with each other.
Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help if you have been injured on someone else’s property.