Non slip treads are a simple, yet effective, solution to prevent dangerous, unwanted slips and falls. Although slips and falls are part of everyday life, it is always important to keep in mind the safety of you and your family and prepare for the worst. Young children and older adults are far more susceptible to these types of accidents, even in the house. The addition of non slip treads allows your feet to better grip the surface you are walking on to prevent slips and falls that can result in injury or, in some cases, death.
Why is Stair Safety Important?
Staircases are one of the most dangerous places slip and fall accidents can occur while, simultaneously, being one of the most common places this occurs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the second leading cause of death after motor vehicles is, shockingly, staircase falls (osha.gov). Just this one reason alone shows the importance of staircase safety. Not only can falls be embarrassing, they can lead to costly medical bills and liability issues that come with their own piles of excess bills, settlements and lawsuits. The addition of rubber non slip treads for stairs can help reduce and prevent any chances of accidental tumbles down the stairs.
What Causes Slips and Falls on Stairs?
There are various different factors that contribute to slip and fall accidents on stairs. Some of these include uneven/broken steps, damaged railings, dirtied or sullied floors and moisture. Areas that are more susceptible to these factors are outdoor staircases. Outdoor staircases pose even a larger threat to slip and fall accidents solely due to their location outdoors and will be made safer by installing a no slip tread to each step. Here, they are even more prone to being affected by damaging forces such as the natural elements and environment. Moisture, such as rain and snow, is probably the most common source of slip and fall accidents and, being located outside, outdoor staircases are particularly prone to being affected by these factors.
Consequences of Slips and Falls
First and certainly the most motivating reason for installing a non slip tread to each of your steps is injury. Injuries resulting from a fall on stairs can be serious. Serious injuries can sometimes lead to extensive hospital bills and visits or even fatality. In statistics found in 2015, over $50 billion was spent on medical bills alone from falls that occurred on staircases (cdc.gov). If you are lucky enough to avoid slips and falls, you then have to worry about liability issues from others who may have stumbled on your property. Employers and employees in particular can be greatly affected by liability issues caused by a slip and fall injuries. Injuries that occur at the workplace can lead to lawsuits that may result in a hefty fine. Even more daunting than lawsuits is the loss of wages for both the employee and employer. Therefore, employers are highly recommended to install no slip treads onto staircases in their place of work to keep employees and guests safe.
What Makes Rubber Non-Slip?
Friction and grip are the forces that allow your feet to stay firmly planted on the ground as you walk. They are created when two surfaces move up against one another creating resistance. Rubber’s high coefficient of friction gives it the ability to retain its traction abilities even when coming into contact with moisture. For this reason, rubber is one the most recommended materials for non slip treads for stairs. Often times, non slip treads are made of reclaimed rubber. Reclaimed rubber is made of unused or old tire rubber which is heated with sulfur to meld them together to make a solid sheet of rubber in a process called vulcanization. This process of vulcanization gives each non slip tread a solid finish making it more water resistant than recycled rubber which is slightly porous due to its manufacturing process. Rubber’s water-resistant qualities also keep non slip treads free of mold or mildew which may slowly degrade the integrity of other material.
Prevent Slips and Falls
Non slip treads are designed to increase traction and friction with each step. The versatility of the rubber material of a no slip tread allows them to be used indoors and outdoors. Outdoor staircases, in particular, will benefit the most with the addition of non slip treads. The water resistance properties of rubber make it the ideal material for non slip stair treads. Non slip treads for stairs are available with nosing along the edge of the mat to further prevent slips and falls off the edge of each step as well as to protect them from damage.
How to Install Non Slip Treads
Safeguarding your stairs have never been easier than with the simple installation process of non slip treads. These stair treads can be installed with double sided tape adhesives for a more temporary installation or with glue for a more permanent installation. Double sided tape adhesives are recommended for residential areas and places with lighter foot traffic. Glue is recommended for commercial areas with heavy foot traffic to further prevent the treads from shifting underfoot. This easy installation is simple enough for anyone to follow and is perfect for a DIY (Do-it-yourself) project.
Surface Textures Can Improve Grip
Non slip treads for stairs are available on the market with various different surface patterns and textures to enhance the natural traction abilities of rubber. A couple surface patterns available for non slip treads include Coin Top and Diamond Plate. Due to the raised surface of both the circular coin design and the elongated diamond shape design, both patterns offer extra traction so the choice boils down to the look and aesthetic you are looking for. To increase traction even more, no slip treads are also available with grit surfaces. The grit texture is produced by tiny black emory grains. Emory is a non-toxic mineral that gives the surface of a stair tread a sandpaper-like texture. It is this roughness that provides more grip to each step, further enhancing rubber’s natural characteristics.
See How Non Slip Stair Treads Can Save You Money
The cost of no slip treads is a small fraction of the possible costs of medical bills and liability lawsuits and settlements. As mentioned earlier, billions of dollars per year are spent on medical bills or lawsuit/settlements from liability issues for injuries resulting from slips and falls. It is always recommended to safeguard your steps to prevent costly accidents from occurring. Non slip treads are cost effective solutions for preventing these types of injuries that hurt you and your wallet.
Cost of Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are fairly common occurrences on staircases; however, slip and fall accidents in the workplace can lead to liability issues that can affect both employer and employee. No slip treads are the ideal products for keeping business staircases safe. In fact, it is highly recommended by various safety organizations. As an employee, getting injured on the job can lead to pricey consequences. Not only would they have mounting medical bills, they would also be losing wages for the days of work missed. An employer would have to pay extra expenses to train a replacement employee as well as deal with a possible lawsuit. For example, in a case from Brooklyn, New York, an employee of a hotel reported that she had fallen backwards down a set of stairs after slipping on some debris of the metal steps. It is assumed that the stairs did not have any sort of safeguard in place to prevent these types of accidents and the business was charged a $3,125,000 settlement to the employee (blockotoole.com). Lawsuits can be pricey but they are avoidable using the correct safety measures.
Cost of Non Slip Stair Treads
Various factors contribute to the cost effectiveness of rubber no slip treads, the biggest factor being how they are made. Reclaimed rubber is extremely cost efficient due to the fact that the rubber used have been repurposed from vehicle tires. The durability of vehicle tires in reflected in the durability of rubber stair treads giving them longer life with less repairs, saving the extra cost of replacements. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an estimated 290 million tires have been discarded in the United States by the end of 2003 (epa.gov). Due to the sheer amount of rubber available, it is nearly impossible to run out making rubber the ultimate money saving material. Therefore, the addition of a non slip tread on each step is a cost-efficient insurance policy to protect against accidental slips and falls.
Accidental slips, trips and falls are unavoidable but it is possible to prevent these types of accidents and keep you and your family out of harm’s way. Non slip treads are an effective and easy solution to the prevention of slipping and falling. With slips and falls being the second leading reason for accidental fatalities, it is important to safe guard slippery floors and stairs with rubber non slip treads for stairs for maximum traction and grip. Installing no slip treads to each of your home or business’s steps is a sure way to keep your family (and wallet) out of harm’s way!