Hazard 21 - Falls associated with Stairs and Steps
This hazard covers any fall associated with a stairs, steps and ramps where the change in level is greater than 300mm. It includes falls associated with:
Internal stairs or ramps within the dwelling
External steps or ramps within the curtilage of the dwelling
Internal common stairs or ramps within the building containing the dwelling and giving access to the dwelling, and those to shared facilities or means of escape in case of fire associated with the dwelling
External steps or ramps within the curtilage of the building containing the dwelling and giving access to the dwelling, and those to shared facilities or means of escape in case of fire associated with the dwelling.
Variations in dimensions of rise and going within a flight are likely to increase the possibility of missteps. However, where the variation is linked with an obvious change in direction of a stair, for example with the use of winders, this may mean that the user takes greater care and increases concentration, reducing the likelihood of an occurrence.
Vulnerable Group: All persons 60 or more years of age
Defects & Justifications
Tread lengths - of less than 280mm or greater than 360mm.
Riser heights - of less than 100mm or greater than 180mm.
Variation in tread or riser - dimensional variation producing an uneven pitch.
Nosing length - projecting more than 18mm beyond any riser.
Poor friction quality - of treads and nosings.
Openings - in stairs or guarding through which a 100mm diameter sphere can pass.
Alternating treads - stairs so constructed, particularly those not conforming to current regulations.
Lack of handrails - the absence to both sides of the staircase.
Height of handrails - set below 900mm or above 1,000mm.
Lack of guarding - the absence where there is no wall to both sides of the staircase.
Height of guarding - not extending to at least 900mm above the treads.
Easily climbed guarding - constructed so as to facilitate climbing.
Stair width - less than 1,000mm.
Length of flight - long flights may increase the likelihood of a fall.
Inadequate lighting - natural and/or artificial, particularly to the top and foot of a flight.
Lighting controls - inadequate or inconvenient means of controlling the artificial lighting.
Glare from lighting - whether natural or artificial.
Door(s) onto stairs - doors opening directly onto the stairs.
Inadequate landing - inadequate floor space leading to the stairs.
Construction/disrepair - inadequate construction or disrepair to any element of the stairs.
Thermal efficiency - inadequate heating and insulation of the dwelling.
Length of flight - long flights increase the severity of the outcome.
Pitch of stairs - stairs which are of above average steepness or shallowness.
Projections etc - the presence of sharp edges, heating installations, or glass, to the stairs or at the foot of the flight.
Hard surfaces - unforgiving surfaces at the foot of the flight.