The most common type of staircase injury is a fall. The Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes these injuries under the fall, trip, and slip dataset. And in 2020, falls while climbing stairs, steps, or curbs caused 4,211 recordable injuries.
While it may feel that these types of incidents aren’t 100% preventable, there are many things you can do to reduce their likelihood. A combination of proper education, rule enforcement, and consistent auditing is the easiest way to ensure the success of your stairway safety efforts.
Stairway safety tips for employees
Friendly reminders go a long way in keeping safety top of mind for your workers. These tips are great for morning standup meetings, posters, and other forms of safety communication.
- Use handrails when walking on the staircase.
- Always walk facing forward, never backwards.
- Avoid loitering on staircase landings.
- Stick to the right-hand side of the staircase.
- When carrying objects on the stairs, keep them as close to your body as possible.
- Always keep a line of sight, making sure not to carry items in front of your face.
- Walk single file if there are two directions of traffic on the staircase.
- Walk, never run, while going up or down the stairs.
- If you spill anything on the staircase, clean it up right away.
- Wear appropriate footwear and always tie your shoelaces before ascending the stairs.
For the biggest impact, share these tips regularly with your team and make sure you have an open line of communication for workers to report hazards.
Stairway safety tips for employers
There are many things that employers can do to prevent staircase injuries. Enforcing simple behavioral policies and creating safe workspaces are two great examples of how to do this.
If you need help getting started or need some inspiration, here are a few tips to help you create and maintain safe staircases throughout your site.
- Perform a weekly inspection of all staircases.
- Keep stairways clear of clutter.
- On rainy days, always place nonslip mats at the foot of the stairs.
- Tightly secure all stair treads to prevent trip hazards.
- Never use the staircase as a place to store equipment.
- Repaint chipped sections of the handrail each year.
- Consider widening staircases that are prone to congestion.
- Block off staircases to dangerous work areas.
- Incorporate stair safety rules in your site’s code of conduct.
- Add the staircases to your weekly cleaning schedule to protect against grime buildup.
If you follow these tips, you can easily prevent simple yet dangerous slip, trip, and fall injuries. Plus, you can strengthen your site’s safety culture, leading by example and enforcing safe behaviors at the same time.