Falls are one of the most common causes of accidental death and injury in the U.S., and they often occur on stairways. Falling down the stairs is particularly dangerous because victims often suffer more than one blow as they fall, often leading to traumatic brain injuries and other wounds.
While all stairways are potentially dangerous, there are a few common hazards that make them more threatening to users.
1. Inadequate lighting
A dim lighting effect can add to the ambiance of a room, but building owners and managers have to put safety over aesthetics. If you can’t clearly see where you are going, then you’re not going to be able to navigate a stairway safely. Dim lighting also fails to take into consideration those who may have visual impairments.
2. Poor design
Again, spiral staircases and modern designs can be pleasing to the eye, but they also need to serve their function on a practical basis. If the stairways in a building are to be unorthodox, then a risk assessment should be carried out first. Another common cause of stairway falls is when the gap between steps is uneven. Users almost automatically expect gaps between stairs to be even, so uneven steps act like a dangerous illusion that can cause nasty falls.
3. Lack of safety rails
Most of us have lost our balance at some point in time, even if only for a brief second. If this happens on a stairway, there is usually a handrail for us to regain control. If a building owner neglects to fit handrails, then users have no safety net, which makes a fall inevitable.
If your fall down the stairs has been caused by negligence, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries. Seeking guidance on the matter will give you a better idea of your options.