You probably don’t think twice about your safety when you walk up or down a flight of stairs. That is partly because most staircases have a standardized design that meets certain safety specifications. Your feet are so into the habit of climbing stairs that they do it automatically. However, when a building owner does not heed standards for safe design and maintenance of a stairway, it increases the risk of a serious fall with catastrophic injuries.
Stairway design is only one aspect of safety. Modern buildings reflect improving safety standards by ensuring uniform height and width of each stair, periodic landings, and secure and regulated railings. A step that becomes damaged or a railing that is loose or missing may result in a tumble on the stairs, which can be much worse than a fall on a flat surface. Falls on stairs often leave victims with devastating injuries, including brain trauma, spinal cord damage or internal injuries.
Attention to detail can spare you pain
In addition to choosing standard designs and keeping steps and railings in good repair, simple housekeeping and maintenance by a building owner may help you avoid a tragic situation. You should be able to expect a building owner to comply with such simple safety actions as the following and others:
- Keeping stairs and landings free from clutter
- Avoiding running electrical cords or other tripping hazards across the stairs
- Replacing torn or worn carpeting or treads that may cause you to stumble
- Instructing cleaners to avoid using slippery products on the stairs and landings
- Providing adequate lighting and replacing bulbs regularly
Sometimes safety measures can be as simple as warning you that the stairs exist. This may be especially necessary for small stairways of one to three steps. These may be difficult to see when their colors do not contrast, leading to a painful fall. Building owners may post signs alerting you to the steps or even replace them with a ramp.
Your safety and the safety of all visitors should be foremost in the minds of property managers and business owners. When it is not, you may find yourself dealing with a fall that leaves you with a long, painful recovery and a mountain of medical bills. Fortunately, you may have the option of pursuing compensation through the civil courts with the help of a New York attorney.