It is really important to always take care when ascending or descending the stairs and you should always make sure that you make good use of the safety handrails in order to ensure that you do not slip, fall and hurt yourself.
A good staircase design is crucial to ensure people’s safety, no matter where they are being installed and so you should always keep this in mind, whether you are renovating your new home, installing a new staircase in your office or purely just deciding whether you want to add handrails or banisters to your current flight of stairs, be they in a residential or commercial building.
Below, you will see some interesting but shocking, little known stats on staircases and it is recommended that you take these on board and make every effort, in the future, to be as careful as possible and therefore reduce the risk of injuring yourself on the stairs.
- Tripping on stairs
Research has calculated that tripping on a flight of stairs occurs every 1 in 2,222 occasions. On these occasions 1 in 734,000 results in minor injury, whereas major injuries occur approximately every 1 in 3,616,000 uses. This may not sound like a lot at first, however, remember that this is pure probability and each time you use the stairs, whether twice, thrice or four times in a day, you are increasing the risk that you will be the one to trip.
It is important to always pay attention when going up or coming down the stairs and if you make a special effort to take care, the risk of tripping will be greatly reduced.
- Amazingly it is said that people who are in a fitter condition are much more likely to trip, fall and hurt themselves on the stairs than those who are in a poor state of fitness. The reason for this is said to be down to how people that are in good shape approach ascending and descending the stairs, for instance someone who is fit might choose to run up the stairs or take them two or three at a time, whilst decide to jump when coming down the stairs.
This approach to using a staircase is, of course, a lot more risky and explains why fitter people are more prone to staircase injuries, than someone who is not as fit and merely climbing them one step at a time, slowly and patiently.
- It will come as a shock to some that women are actually a lot more likely to fall on the stairs than men are. In the past this would have been put down to the fact that women were at home a lot more than men, so of course their risk of falling was higher. However, these days this is still true and can be attributed to the types of shoes that women wear and how these shoes are not specifically designed to ascend and descend staircases.
Both sexes should always be careful on the stairs but women in particular need to be cautious and consider what footwear they are wearing before ever rushing up or down stairs and increasing their chances of injury.
- In terms of where you are more likely to fall on a staircase, figures show that the most staircase accidents, about two thirds, occur on the first or last three steps of a staircase and about one third of accidents occur on the first or last step. People should therefore keep this in mind should they feel like running up or down their stairs at home or in the office.
Interestingly, stairs that are shorter are actually more dangerous than those that are longer because they encourage people to rush them and be overconfident, for instance jumping down them or running, which of course greatly increases the risk of slipping.
- Horrifyingly there are approximately 12,000 accidental deaths each year as a result of people falling on the stairs and this is second only to car accidents! So you can see just how important it is to take care of the stairs. It may seem over cautious at the time but humans are their own worst enemy when it comes to accidental self-injury.
As half of these deaths occur at home, people need to stick to the old adage of ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry’ and look for ways to make their stairs as safe as possible, for instance installing more lighting, handrails and non-slip grips would all be a very good start.
James Harrison writes for steel handrail retailer Seagull Balustrades – When he is’t blogging about home improvement or home safety, he’s investing his time in trying to be better at the ukulele and his poor attempts at being a land locked surfer.