Any slip and fall injury has the potential for serious injury. Slips, trips and falls on stairs pose greater risk than those on level surfaces. The two most common causes of falls on stairs are:
- Inadequate slip resistance on the leading edge of the stairs
- Inadequate luminance contrast on the leading edge of the stairs
When ascending and descending stairs, pedestrians generally come in contact with the leading edge of the stair. All body weight is supported on a small portion of the stair as the pedestrian negotiates the stairs. If the leading edge of the stair does not have adequate anti-slip qualities, then it is likely that the foot will slip off the edge of the stair tread, often resulting in a fall.
Another cause of accidents on stairs occurs when pedestrians misjudge the position of the next step when climbing or descending stairs. This often occurs when a stair nosing in a contrasting colour has not been installed on the stairs.
The Building Code of Australia requires that stairs have ’treads which have a non slip finish or an adequate non-skid strip near the edge of the nosings’. To ensure pedestrian safety, these treads should be of a colour that contrasts with the colour of the stair tread to reduce the chance of a pedestrian ‘missing’ the next step.
There are a number of options available to property owners. In a residential situation, non-slip tapes are a cost-effective and non-intrusive way to ensure stair safety. The tapes are available in a number of colours and textures to suit both indoor and outdoor needs.
For commercial applications, ProStep anti-slip safety stair nosings, available from Grip Guard Non Slip , offer long-term solution. Manufactured from reinforced aluminium extrusion and anodised, ProStep anti-slip safety stair nosings are attractive non-slip safety solutions. For indoor application, a polymeric insert provides adequate slip resistance. For outdoor applications, R13 rated carborundum inserts ensure slip resistance in wet conditions.
For industrial applications, carborundum modified safety stair nosings provide the ultimate in slip resistance. The nosings are produced in galvanised steel and are coated with R13 rated carborundum.
Grip Guard Floor Safety provide advice regarding stair safety, non-slip floor treatments, and other floor safety initiatives.