Steps and staircases naturally lend themselves to slip and fall-related accidents. In order to keep yourself and others safe, it is imperative to take the necessary safety precautions both in your home and work place. Non-skid treads are an easy way to make any set of steps or stairs safer and avoid large liability costs.
Stairs are already naturally more difficult to navigate than when walking on a flat or level surface, but there are additional factors that can make them even more unsafe.
First, heavy foot traffic causes wear and tear, making the steps structurally unsound, especially in the case of wooden steps. Home patios and decks are a great example of this. Walking up and down your front steps day in and day out when you leave the house and come back home creates a significant amount of wear, making the steps weaker, making you more vulnerable to fall when traversing the steps. The use of non-skid treads can greatly reduce this wear and tear, keeping your patio steps stronger for much longer.
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Another factor that makes stairs more hazardous is the presence of moisture. Whether it’s due to outdoor weather such as rain, snow, or ice, or from spills in the home or workplace, slippery stairs are a slippery slope to disaster. Outdoor swimming pools and water parks are a prime example of moisture related risk. Have you ever felt shaky-legged climbing up the slippery steps to the tallest water slide at your local water park? I know I have. The fear of slipping and falling four stories takes the fun out of going down the slide again and again. But when the added safety measure of non-skid treads is implemented, my legs are shake significantly less as I climb those four stories, all the while feeling more secure with each step.
So why is it important to use non-skid treads or anti-skid treads to make steps and stairs safer? Well, according to the University of Wisconsin’s Campus Health and Safety department, the main cause of work place accidents is due to slips, trips, and falls. Even further, slips, trips, and falls occur mostly due to wet or slippery surfaces. The University recommends the use of absorbent mats, such as non-skid treads, to help reduce risk of fall-related accidents in the work place (University of Wisconsin). Therefore, non-skid treads or anti-skid treads are crucial for reducing the risk of a stair-related fall in the work place.
The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland lists 4 different kinds of hazardous steps, the first and most notable of which is a slippery step. Any step that does not have a proper grip, particularly at the step’s edge or nosing, is considered a slippery step (Health and Safety Authority). Non-skid treads can help increase the grip and traction to make steps slip-resistant.
In addition to keeping your employees and guests safe, it is important to consider the liability costs that come with fall related accidents and injuries. Taking the simple action of implementing non-skid treads can help to avoid the messy lawsuits that come with work place fall related accidents. Retired Judge Anthony P. Calisi says that by law, property owners or managers are held to a duty of care, which means it is your responsibility to keep your property safe for others (Injury Claim Coach). If an accident occurs on your property, and it is then found that you did not take the proper and necessary steps to create a hazard free environment (even something as simple as installing non-skid treads), you can be held liable, and as a result, it can cost you money and your reputation.
For example, a 60-year-old woman living in New York received a $1.9 million settlement when the stairs leading to her apartment gave and she fell through. The building owner claimed that he was unaware the staircase was unsound, but was still found liable (WRSH Law). The accident and resulting lawsuit could have been easily avoided if non-skid treads had been placed to help avoid the wear and tear of the apartment’s staircase. Avoid the headaches of lawsuits and bad PR, and keep your property safe for all of your employees and guests! Installing non-skid treads is easy and simple, and always worth it in the long run.
So, why should you use non-skid treads or anti-skid treads on your stairs? Because they are a simple, cost-effective way to prevent serious injury or accident, property damage, and complicated lawsuits, keeping you and everyone else safe and happy.