We look at external step and stairway design and how it is crucial in helping to prevent slips and trips.
Slips and trips can become more of a concern on external steps and stairways during the winter months, especially with potential environment hazards caused by low light, rain and ice. External public and work place areas both need to be taken into consideration, when reviewing safety. Slips on external steps or stairways could effect employees as wells as visitors or customers.
The overall design is important to consider when planning steps and stairways. All steps need to be the uniform in dimension – especially because people only look at the first and last few steps – they assume all of the steps will be identical, any irregularities could cause a fall.
The HSE recommends installing flooring surfaces with adequate surface roughness, (flooring with abrasive surfaces) to prevent slipping when it is wet or icy. They also advise the use of grit on frosty or slippery surfaces like steps and stairways.
There is a wide range of flooring products available with effective surface roughness to help prevent slips on steps and stairways. Our COBAGRIP® (fibreglass) GRP Flooring range offers the ideal safety solution, with durable silicone carbide, rough textured finishes.
Not only should steps and stairways have a slip resistant floor surface, but so should entrances to stairways. The COBAGRIP® GRP range includes COBAGRIP® GRP sheet options, ideal for areas such as foot bridges, access ramps and walkways.
Steps in poorly lit areas should have step lighting installed, to avoid people misreading where the stair edge is. The entranceways to steps need to be well lit also. People need to be able to see that they are approaching steps to avoid any potential accidents.
The edge of each step must be visible, to determine where the foot will be placed on each step. This can be highlighted with a highly visible colour contrast on the edge of the step surface.
Our COBAGRIP® Stair Nosing and Stair Tread are both available with bright yellow edges to increase visibility of the stair edge, which meets DDA requirements. Stair Tread (which cover the full stair as opposed to just the edge) is available in black/yellow or black/white.
Steps and stairways need to be maintained on a regular basis in order to be effective. These areas need to be kept clean, tidy and free of debris to avoid any accidents. There shouldn’t be any worn or loose nosing, because worn steps can cause trips.
The HSE has reported that each year thousands of slips and trips occur in the work place and in public spaces that result in serious injuries. Businesses and local authorities cannot afford to take risks with underfoot safety and are very often liable for paying compensation to employees and the general public. The HSE offers recommendations for employers, facilities managers, architects and designers on the precautions that should be taken to tackle slips and trips. One of the key points highlighted is to consider interior and exterior flooring options at the start of the design process of a building.
If you need guidance on choosing non slip flooring for steps and stair ways, and the possible applications contact our team or call 0116 240 118