Whether at work, at home or out in public, falling down the stairs is a significant worry for many people. As an accident that can result in life-changing injuries, it’s important to know how you can prevent these from happening as soon as possible.
Stairway safety should always be at the forefront of your mind every time you use stairs. Stair safety products, such as handrails, non-slip stair treads, stair nosing, and anti-slip coatings, provide users with the peace of mind that the environment is as safe as possible from the get-go.
If you’re looking for invaluable guidance around how stair related accidents occur, where they can occur, common injuries related to it, how to recover and how to improve safety, read on to find out more.
Accident Statistics Related to Falling Down Stairs
Stair accident statistics are some of the highest injuries listed each year – both in the USA and abroad. In a 2017 study written in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, it was found that every year, there is an average of over one million injuries that come as a result of falling down the stairs. As the second leading cause of accidental injury in the country, it’s a statistic that can’t be ignored.
Reviewing falling down stairs injury statistics uncovers even scarier information: every year there is an average of 12,000 deaths as a result of a stairway accident. Showcasing just how dangerous stairs can be in every environment, it indicates the importance of following the correct practices.
Interestingly, many believe that it’s only older individuals that primarily fall down the stairs. And although a high portion of those in the study were older adults, the highest statistic (67.2%) found that it was a combination of these people, along with younger children.
Common Injuries from Falling Down Stairs
So you might be wondering – what are the most common injuries from falling down stairs? And although every person might have a different injury as the result of a fall, there are several in particular that are more prevalent than others. These typically include the following:
Sprains and strains (32.3% according to the above study)
Fractures (19.3%) – such as to the face, hands and wrists
Spinal cord damage
Head and neck injuries (21.6%)
Injury to the brain
Injuries to the back or neck
Lower extremity injuries (e.g dislocations or organ damage)
The severity of the injury will, of course, also depend on the type of staircase that’s involved (e.g whether it’s carpeted or not) and the way in which you fell. For example, you could fall forwards leading to you applying your weight to your arm or you could fall backwards, resulting in you hitting your head on the above steps with force.
Stair Safety at Work
Stair safety at work should be a top priority for employers. Accidents can happen at any time and to anyone – so it’s vital that the right steps are taken to prevent this from happening. Accidents can occur by someone missing their step or slipping on the step that’s there if it’s not properly protected.
Whether this is caused by stairway construction or a particular defect (i.e uneven tread or a missing banister) will depend on the staircase in question. It would be unfortunate to find one of your employees or yourself injured because of poor construction or lack of protective parts.
OSHA Stair Safety
When employers are looking to install a stairway in their workplace, it’s a good idea to look at the OSHA stair safety regulations. These detailed regulations lay out exact requirements that an employer should follow.
From ensuring that there are handrails provided on each staircase to guaranteeing that each stairway platform and landing is at least 30 inches in depth, it will help to create stairs that are safe for all your employees.
OSHA regulations should be adhered to across all types of work environments – from industrial buildings to recreational facilities and marine buildings – and utilized in conjunction with any other building codes and stair compliance that may apply.
Stair Safety at Home
As well as in a work environment, it’s vital that stair safety is practiced within the home. Accidents from falling down stairs can happen any time at home. And if you don’t live with anyone or you fall when no one else is home, you could find yourself in serious danger.
Therefore, as well as making physical changes to your staircase to ensure that it’s safer overall, it’s critical that you follow the right safety practices when you use it. For example, you could:
Ensure that you’re staying alert when you’re on the stairs (e.g not being distracted while using them)
You remove any trip hazards
Walk slowly up the stairs (avoid running or skipping steps)
Stairway safety shouldn’t only be practiced by you, but others in your family to try and ensure that any accidents are prevented. It only takes a split second for one to happen. So limit this risk as much as you possibly can.
How to Recover from a Fall Down the Stairs
If an accident occurs, it’s worth knowing how to recover from a fall down the stairs. All of the above injuries mentioned are incredibly significant – leading the person to seek medical treatment in most cases.
The recovery period for minor incidents typically involves allowing the injured muscles, bones, or joints to rest. Hot or cold compresses might be suggested to help with pain and bruising. In order to receive the proper care you need to recover from a stair related injury, it is advised that you see a doctor or healthcare professional.
The medical treatment suggested by your physician could include a hospital procedure, emergency care, long-term rehabilitative therapy or home help – in the most severe cases. Of course, this will depend on how extreme the injury is, but it’s good to know the type of medical attention you might face if an accident does occur.
Top Prevention and Safety Tips
So how can you help to prevent these injuries from occurring? Well, alongside following the above safety practices, you could take proactive steps such as installing Amstep stair treads or stair nosing.
Amstep Stair Treads
Our non-slip stair treads are designed to minimize the risk of slips and falls on stairs. Available in a range of different colors and sizes, you’ll be able to find treads that fit your application requirements to a tee.
Created with aircraft-grade aluminum and an abrasive particle compound, these heavy duty treats are suitable for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
Striving to make your home or workplace a safer environment for everyone, these stair treads are fitted on the area of the staircase where your foot will make contact. With a range of color options available and options such as Glowline and Sightline, safety isn’t the only benefit you can reap from installing them.
Amstep Stair Nosing
Alternatively, you could use Amstep stair nosing. As a requirement for many buildings (whether it’s industrial, commercial or municipal), this heavy-duty feature also works to make a stairway safer for all that use it. And due to our product’s design, it’s aesthetically pleasing as well as practical.
At Amstep, we have several products to choose from, ranging in color, size and application – giving you freedom to select which one suits your requirements best. Whether you’re anchoring concrete stair nosing or mounting over existing parts, we have products to fit your project’s needs. And with 8 different colors plus a glow-in-the-dark option, each step will be easier to see when ascending or descending stairs – making it far safer than ordinary treads and nosing that may blend into the color of the steps.
We hope this guide has helped to show you the most common injuries that can happen as a result of falling down stairs, what the legislation states, how to recover from a fall and most importantly, and how to prevent this type of injury from occurring.
No matter whether you’re looking to enhance the safety of your home, a public place, or a workplace, it’s important to adhere to safety guidelines and enhance the safety of your staircases with products such as treads, nosings, and non-slip coatings.
Don’t allow yourself and others to be at risk of injury because the safety of your stairway was compromised.
The stair tread is the part of the staircase that your foot makes contact with when ascending or descending. They can be made from numerous materials including wood, metal, glass and masonry. These, in combination with the riser, stringer and railings, form a staircase.
Since each step up or down changes the level of your feet, there is a higher risk of slipping or falling while ascending a staircase versus walking on level flooring. Steps that are made from smooth materials increase this probability, therefore, nosings are often required in local building codes to prevent unfortunate accidents.
As steps become worn, they can be renovated with non-slip treads. These covers have a high coefficient of friction for safety and give the steps a renovated, refreshed look. Our products can cover the front 3 inches of the stair up to the full depth of 11 inches or more.
The picture to the right shows a staircase with wood stair treads that include nonslip stair nosings that are flush with the stair. These nosings typically cover the front 2” to 4” of the stair tread. The wood was routered out to allow the nosings to sit flush with the stair tread.
Renovating Existing Staircases
There are several options available when renovating a set of stairs. Non slip stair treads and anti slip paint are two great examples. Coatings are easily applied and provide a uniform finish. They will need to be reapplied every 2 to 5 years depending on foot traffic and environmental conditions.
Although the installation of stair treads is more involved than that of coatings, Amstep’s tread products last many years or even decades.
In the end, each stair owner must decide which option best fits their foot traffic, environmental conditions and budget.
Non slip stair treads are a highly practical solution for increasing safety when it comes to your indoor or outdoor staircase. They provide you with the ability to improve traction on the surface, along with reinforcing the structural integrity of your indoor or outdoor stairs. They are used to minimize wear on the underlying stair tread and can add many years to your old staircase with proper installation.
It is important to be conscious of the material and design of your existing stairs when considering treads. All of Amstep Products treads work both indoor and outdoor but color, design and costs will play a factor in your decision of which option is the right one. You should check building codes for your local requirements also.
Stairways are a very dangerous place if they become old and slippery. The chance of a slip or fall increases along with your liability for these accidents. Preventive measures today can pay tremendous dividends down the road.
Choosing the Stair Tread Material
Depending on whether the staircase that you are installing or renovating is indoors or outdoors, there are different kinds of stair treads. Each has its’ strong suits. Aluminum treads have the combination of durability and flexibility that make them a great option indoors or outdoors.
Vinyl (Indoor Usage)
Vinyl is a very low expenditure material. These can come in various designs and with many components, and while they can be installed outdoors, they will very easily be damaged by harsh weather conditions and climatic changes. This is probably why vinyl is mostly used indoors and offers a viable option for people on a budget. Vinyl tread covers have a much shorter lifespan than their aluminum counterparts. When it comes to outdoor staircases, you will need a material that is considerably stronger and much more durable since they will be exposed to harsher conditions.
Aluminum (Indoor and Outdoor Usage)
Improving the safety conditions for any staircases placed indoors and outdoors is crucial if you want to prevent any bone-breaking accidents. Outdoor stairs will require sturdier materials that are highly durable when exposed to elements like rain, sunlight and snow. In improving the safety of the outdoor staircase in question, aluminum is the best material at your disposal. Aluminum is very long-lasting and offers an anti-slip protective surface.
Aluminum stair tread installations have lasted decades when installed and maintained properly. The attractive variety of designs features a highly exclusive safety traction surface that consists of abrasive particles that help in enhancing grip and stability. The advantage on indoor or outdoor stairs is the durability and high coefficient of friction from the non-slip surface of the aluminum treads.
They say, “What goes up must come down”. In the case of stairs, coming down is the much riskier proposition. While trips and falls occur going up the stairs, they tend to be more minor in nature. Trips and slips going downstairs lead to much more dangerous falls which can lead to a significant injury and liability. That’s where safety stair treads and stair nosings give you a big advantage.
Non-slip stair treads are used to cover existing steps for added safety, and a variety of materials are used for this purpose. The main idea behind adding them is improving the stability and the grip of each step while providing an additional amount of traction. They are extremely effective at reducing the risk of slipping or falling on a staircase.
Whether you are in the process of refurbishing, building or designing a new commercial, industrial or residential building, treads and nosings are great options for stair safety.
Extending the Life of Your Staircase
Stair treads aren’t only great at improving safety, but they also protect the stairs from the daily traffic. They minimize the scuffs, scratches and stains that mar the surface. They take the brunt of the wear and tear and prolong the lifespan of your stairs, therefore, minimizing your maintenance costs. Replacing these tread covers is much less costly than pouring or rebuilding a set of stairs.
Easy to Replace
Even when they have become worn out and damaged, they can easily be replaced with new ones, keeping the surface underneath highly protected. They can also be very helpful in strengthening and protecting the underlying construction. Replacing the renovation treads is relatively easy and does not involve rebuilding the stairs unless they have severely degraded. Installing stair treads over your steps will act as an investment on your property for years to come.
Amstep’s treads and nosings come in various depths and custom lengths to give a professional fit to your stairs. They’re available in custom sizes and an array colors to match your décor. Available in two tone colors for ADA visibility requirements as well as glow in the dark options, there is an option to fit virtually every need.
Stair nosings are anti-slip components that builders apply to the front edge of the stair. Most building codes across the country require industrial, public, and commercial stairway to have stair nosings installed on both interior and exterior stair cases.
Stair nosings are intended to maximize ease of use and optimize safety on all stairways. They come with a number of benefits that help avoid human injury and safeguard businesses from liability issues. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the benefits that metal stair nosings bring to buildings across the U.S.
Safety Benefits of Stair Nosings
Metal stair nosings offer a myriad of safety benefits to both staff and visitors alike. Stair nosings provide individuals with a slip resistant surface area at the front of each step when they’re climbing or descending stairways. When using stairs the ball of the foot usually is in contact with the front portion of a step. That is why most codes require a nosing for steps.
Stair nosings also provide traction when staircases are slippery due to water or ice. Many incorporate rough or grooved surfaces that allow individuals’ footwear to better tread on the nosings’ surface. This increased coefficient of friction makes the nose of the stair safer for foot traffic and makes them more slip resistant than plain stairs.
What’s more, stair nosings protect staircases against wear and tear. They’re usually made out of rougher material than the stairs themselves, which helps better distribute the energy from impact by footsteps, thereby diminishing the chance of the stairs’ edges wearing down over time. For these reasons, installing stair nosings now will reduce the amount of maintenance your staircases will require later.
Why Metal Stair Nosings?
Although stair nosings can be made of materials like rubber, PVC, and plastics, using metal still results in the most versatility and longevity for these products. Metal stair nosings can resist corrosion, temperature fluctuations, and impacts much better than other materials, and they also can provide excellent non-slip properties in even the most highly trafficked areas.
Metal benefits outdoor stairways that regularly come into contact with rain, ice, snow, and sleet, and it also works well in indoor applications. Metal nosings are easily installable and replaceable, allowing you to switch them out at will should any problems occur.
Metal also allows clients to customize the stair nosings as needed. Metal nosings come in a variety of tread sizes and types, and clients can choose from a wide range of colors to boost both the visibility and aesthetic appeal of the staircase. Architects can even opt for glow-in-the-dark panels for stairways in dimly lit areas, preserving user safety without having to install emergency lighting.
Metal Stair Nosings from Amstep
Amstep capitalizes on over 100 years of experience to cement its place as an expert in metal stair nosings. Whether you are pouring new concrete stairs, or renovating existing stairs we have the nosing you need. We build metal stair nosings from aircraft-grade aluminum that will stand the test of time without breaking the bank. We also can incorporate a wide range of customizable features, including a comprehensive color palette and glow-in-the-dark capabilities, to tailor the stair nosings to your requirements.
To learn more about the stair nosing capabilities and services at Amstep, contact us today!
From mass transit stairways to rugged industrial catwalks, stair treads are a critical component of modern building. Literally underfoot, these essential installations come in materials, colors, and assemblies to fit any and every environment.
But not all stairs are created equal: in fact, depending upon a building, city, or region’s requirements, it’s key to consider every element of a stair tread’s design, including proportions, visibility, environmental demands, and much more.
Custom Stair Treads: What, How, and Where
The right choice in stair tread makes for more than mere architectural or design impact. Superior safety, increased economic efficiency, long lasting performance, and improved structural integrity are all benefits of a well-designed stair tread solution.
When evaluating stair nosing or non-slip treads for the best fit, it’s key to evaluate all of the qualities of a given design, including:
Check your local building codes and fully evaluate your existing stairs to find an appropriately sized tread or nosing for your environment. A nosing that’s too narrow can save initial installation costs, but can compromise the longevity of the stair itself — not to mention pedestrian safety.
Aluminum, concrete, wood, even musical keys: stair treads can be crafted from almost any imaginable material! Of course, this makes the designer’s responsibility especially key in finding the best combination of safety, aesthetics, and practical performance for any stair.
Video credit: Rolighetsteorin – Piano Stairs (YouTube.com)
Just a few of the common material choices for stair treads include:
Carpet or traction coating
Indoor and outdoor stairs must be crafted with different considerations in mind. For example, a non-slip or high visibility stair is especially important in abrasive, high exposure outdoor settings where weather and low light can be a challenge. Demanding indoor environments such as industrial facilities, shipping centers, and garages can also take advantage of high performance stairs for long life and increased safety.
Coloring and Surface Treatment
The toughest stair treads and nosing are often made of a metal composite base: aluminum is a durable, long-lasting option. However, for maximum stair safety, a high visibility coloring or non-slip surface treatment helps to stop slips in their tracks. A contrasting nosing substrate, glow in the dark tread highlight, or a safety traction surface offers both peace of mind and long-lasting performance for your stair.
The nosing of a stair tread can be a precarious place, and one of the most common culprits for slips, trips, and falls. Consider both the proper seating and depth for your nosing, as well as the accident risk of your environment. High risk areas should utilize a deeper stair nosing, and can be even further fortified with non-slip surfacing and high contrast visibility treatments.
Custom Crafted Stair Solutions with Amstep
The designers and engineers at Amstep Products have led the industry in developing high performance, non-slip stairs for over 100 years. We’re proud to provide some of the world’s most durable safety products, including Sightline high visibility anti-slip stair treads and stair nosings, cutting-edge Glowline™ treads, and a full series of unique heavy duty composite-treated treads to renovate existing staircases.
Our inventory is stacked with ways to secure your stairs — reach out to consult with an expert or request a quote today!
From manufacturing facilities and industrial workspaces to country cottages and ski retreats, one thing is certain: With wintertime snow and ice come an increased risk of slips, trips, and falls. In fact, injuries resulting from such slips top the list of common culprits for workplace injuries, especially in high-traffic areas.
Weather, or Not
As temperatures dive and frosty conditions creep into our everyday environments, emergency room visits rise. In fact, according to OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), accidents resulting from slips, trips, and falls are only second to motor vehicle accidents as the most common cause of occupational fatalities.
Winter foot traffic, both indoor and out, is frequently challenged by disruptive conditions, including:
Loose salt and gravel
Frosted and frozen surfaces
Wet indoor floors and puddles
Obstacles shrouded or obscured by snow
Snow and ice buildup
Weather-damaged pavement, sidewalks, and pathways
Snowy, Icy Stairs Can Cause Serious Injury
Slip Safety Solutions
Salt, grit, gravel, and chemical ice melts all provide quick, immediate sidewalk safety solutions, but they cannot ensure lasting safety. For a more permanent surface treatment with indoor/outdoor versatility, many building managers and homeowners choose to install floor and stair materials that can be incorporated in high-risk areas such as kitchens, garages, train stations, loading platforms, ferry docks, and entryways.
Increased illumination and integrated lighting in otherwise naturally lit areas enhance visibility.
Anti-slip coatings, paints, and surface treatments offer high reliability, allowing for enhanced friction and grip in high-traffic areas and during inclement weather.
Safety gratings and stair nosing create sturdy base surfaces for climbing.
Custom Safety Programs for Your Space
Be safe this winter! Regular cleaning practices decrease the risk of puddling, snow buildup, and heavy icing. Introducing in-house safety programs, information sessions, posters, and signage can also help keep patrons and employees alert and aware of their surroundings, allowing for safer movement and travel while decreasing liability risks and costs. Even seemingly small choices, like instructing workers to wear weather-sensible shoes, can be a huge help in keeping everyone safe this season.
Both commercial and residential environments can benefit from the installation of integrated non-slip materials. Safety treads and coatings can be readily incorporated in new stairway construction, renovations, large-scale work environments, private homes, outdoor spaces, storage facilities, and so much more.
The specialists at Amstep Products have led the industry in non-skid and anti-slip solutions for over 100 years, providing some of the most durable safety products in the world. Our inventory is stacked with ways to keep your walkways secure and safe. Our range of products — which includes stair nosing, aluminum stair treads, stair treads for concrete steps, non-slip coatings, and high-visibility treads — can be used on all types of stairs, platforms, decks, and high-slip surfaces in the winter months.
To consult with one of our engineers or find a custom solution for your space, reach out to the team today — and remember, slow down and step carefully this season!
Having an emergency plan in place during a high-rise evacuation could be critical to saving lives. A “high-rise” is defined as a structure in which the highest occupied floor is greater than 75 feet above the ground floor. There are hundreds of high-rise buildings spread across North America, housing thousands of offices and workers, and therefore having a well-prepared high-rise evacuation plan is vital to preventing disaster in an emergency situation. (more…)
Many of us use stairways every day without putting much thought into their functionality or construction. However, stairs are an integral part of many homes and businesses, and at the very least, they serve as an alternative to an elevator during an emergency. It is because of this vital role that stairways must adhere to strict design and construction specifications, in addition to meeting other safety requirements. (more…)
Multiple fundraiser events help spread awareness and raise money for charities, like cancer research, but few are as much fun as a charity stair climb. During these stair climbing events, participants make their way up dozens of floors to reach the top of a skyscraper or tall building. (more…)