Staircase slips and falls are very common. In fact, there are over 540,000 slip and fall injuries every year that require hospital care. While sometimes a slip and fall accident down a set of stairs can be caused by a misstep, in many cases, these falls result from negligence by a business.
Businesses have a duty to maintain their stairways in a safe condition. This includes posting warning signs and making necessary repairs.
Here are some common causes of slip and fall accidents on stairways.
Broken or missing handrails
A stairway should be equipped with proper handrails to prevent falls down the steps or side of the stairway. However, some businesses may not be equipped with up-to-code handrails. Such handrails can collapse due to a minor amount of weight.
Building materials tend to deteriorate over time. For example, a frayed or torn carpet, a broken stair and loose wooden boards can put you at risk of losing your footing and falling down the stairs, causing serious injuries.
Staircases don’t have to be inherently dangerous to cause a slip-and-fall accident. However, they can become dangerous due to poor maintenance. Some of the common signs of poorly maintained staircases include water, trash or dirt accumulation. Regular cleaning can remove common risk factors on a stairway.
Areas that are accessible to employees should be adequately lit to make it safe for them to walk. Remember, staircases are dangerous at the best of times, and a shadowy stairway can make it much more difficult for walkers to find their next step or handrails. In addition, when there’s insufficient lighting, stairwell users may not see potential tripping hazards.
Suppose you suffer serious injuries due to another person’s negligence while taking the stairs. In that case, you can make a claim and get compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.