Do handrails always prevent stairway accidents?

| Sep 27, 2019 | Personal Injury |

If you are in charge of a store or any public place in New York City where people often use a set of stairs, maintaining safety is a prime concern. In addition to keeping the stair steps in prime condition so they do not create trip hazards, you might believe installing a handrail can go a long way to preventing an accident. Unfortunately, handrails are not always successful in stopping a fall.

A presentation by Auburn University explains that the concept behind handrails is that they allow a person to grab hold of a support in the event of a fall or tripping on a step. Instead of taking a nasty spill down the stairs, the person can maintain balance by holding onto the handrail. This is especially important while descending a staircase, since the force of gravity pulls down on a person while walking down a flight of stairs.

However, a lot of people actually ignore a handrail while using stairs. This is because stair usage without falls is very common for many people, so pedestrians will frequently ascend and descend stairs without using a handrail. It becomes natural to think that a fall simply cannot happen and to disregard the handrail as unnecessary. Unfortunately, it is often when people do not conceive of an accident happening that one does.

Workplaces and public areas frequent set up safety signs to alert people to hazards or to a lack of caution that can cause personal injury. It may be necessary to set up a similar sign on your property that advises pedestrians to use the stair handrails. A safety sign can keep the use of a handrail in the minds of people who use your stairs and help prevent possible slip and fall accidents.

This information on slip and fall accidents is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice for your situation.